Health Insurance??? Who does not have it? Who needs it?

There are so many reasons why people do not have health insurance. It is not offered through my employer, it is so expensive, I don't know how to get it on my own... Are any of these really worth the penalty? It is now a law in Massachusetts for all residents to have health insurance. I am sure a lot of people got hit with the tax penalty in April if you did not have proof of health insurance for 2008. The fee that you may be forced to pay in April 2010 may be more than $1,000 depending on your situation. Why throw this money away?

In the current economic situation we are all trying to make sure that we are getting the most for our dollar. Wouldn't it make more sense to put the $1,000 or more towards the cost of health insurance? At least this way you will get something back from your hard earned money!

Geiger Gibson Community Health Center and Neponset Health Center, both are a division of Harbor Health Services Inc., are offering FREE open enrollment to Commonwealth Care insurance plans. What this means is that if you are currently enrolled in a Commonwealth Care plan and you would like to make an adjustment to your coverage you can go to either health center and they will assist you with this. OR if you currently do not have health insurance and would like learn more about what options are available to you then you can go to either Geiger Gibson Community Health Center or Neponset Health Center for FREE and they will help get you the information you need.

Representatives from Neighborhood Health Plan, Network Health and Boston Medical Health Net will also be present to assist you and you can even enroll in a health insurance plan on-site. Again this a FREE service to help prevent you from paying the state money without you getting anything in return. Really, who has money to throw away like that?

What do you need to bring to apply?
• If you are employed, your last two payroll stubs or a letter from your employer
• If you’re self-employed, your last tax return
• If you are unemployed, your last two unemployment stubs/proof of unemployment benefits
• Proof of citizenship and identity or your green card or passport if you have immigrated to the United States from another country.

June 9, 10, 11, 2009
Geiger Gibson Community Health Center
250 Mount Vernon Street, Dorchester, MA 02125

617-282-5091 ext.107


June 16, 17, 18, 2009
Neponset Health Center
398 Neponset Avenue, Dorchester, MA 02122

617-282-5091 ext.107


Not sure about this tax year and next, but in '08 if you did not have health insurance and fell underneath a certain income level you did not have to pay the fee. Having said that, I believe that those who fall underneath that income level also are likely to qualify for free care, so from an economics perspective it is a loss not having free care, even if there is no tax penalty.

You are right that if an idividual falls below a certain income level then they may be able to waive the tax penalty. They may also be eligible for free health care through the state. However, there are a lot of people out there that do not fall below certain income levels and therefore have to pay the tax penalty. This does not mean that they will not qualify for some sort of assistance with getting health insurance through Massachusetts.
Neponset Health Center's financial counselors are all very familiar with what income levels qualify for financial assistance with health insurance what income levels do not. Just because you may not qualify for free care or other significantly discounted rates there are a lot of other options out there to help people save some money on the cost of health insurance. This is a FREE service that we offer at Neponset Health Center to help the community stay healthy!

617-282-3200 ext. 249