A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality



January 20, 2015

With the new legislative session comes a host of new legislative ideas.

HCFA worked with a diverse group of legislators in both the House and Senate to file a broad package of legislation. You can see a 2-page brief summary of each of our priority bills here. The proposed legislation include the following proposals:

  • Reduce Out-Of-Pocket Costs by ending cost sharing,  like co-pays and deductibles, for highly cost-effective preventive care, like ashtma inhalers, diabetic insulin, or hypertension drugs.
  • Give Kids The Chance To Be Successful through comprehensive refoms to health, hunger and housing policies that impact children.
  • Preserve Affordable Health Coverage by extending current premiums and cost sharing levels for people getting help through the Health Connector
  • Restore MassHealth Dental Benefits that were cut several years ago, affecting over 800,000 individuals, including 120,000 seniors and 180,000 people with disabilities who do not get adequate dental care.
  • Open Up Prescription Drug Cost Transparency so that the public can learn what drugs really cost to manufacture, how much people in other countries pay, and the actual research costs for our most expensive drugs, and if warranted, stop  unfair price gouging in our prescriptions.
  • Protect Consumer Rights In Tiered Network Insurance Plans by requiring transparency and consumer protections to tiered and limited network insurance plans, so all consumers have access to a low-cost provider in their geographic area and that uniform and transparent tiering. 
  • Maintain Confidentiality in Medical Care to allow patients to protect their confidentiality when benefit explanations are sent to policyholders.
  • Improve the Children’s Medical Security Program by allowing flexibility to address the health needs of children by eliminating limits on services.
  • Ensure Low-Income Children Have Medical Coverage by keeping the state's CHIP program intact regardless of federal decisions.
  • Ease the Burden of Medical Debt by setting debt collection practices and hospital charity care policies to prevent patients from incurring unpayable medical bills.
  • Standardize Benefits for Children’s Health Insurance Plans by requiring commercial insurance coverage for children to meet the same standards as Medicaid. 
  • Create a New Division of Health Insurance to remedy current fragmentation by creating a new integrated Division of Health Insurance under EOHHS.
  • Guarantee Physician Continuity for Children allows children to stay with their caregiver despite insurance changes.