Health care programs offer free or low-cost health services to eligible Worcester area residents. Worcester health care programs pay for medical care given by doctors, clinics, HMOs, hospitals, and pharmacies. Different health care programs have different eligibility requirements. All low-income children in Worcester and other areas of Massachusetts are eligible for free health insurance. Noncitizens, including undocumented noncitizens, are eligible for certain health care benefits.
Health Care Programs
- IN WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS -
Click on a program name for more information:
Health insurance requirements: The Massachusetts Health Reform Act requires all adult Massachusetts residents to have health insurance if they can afford it. Residents without health insurance face a tax penalty. You can read more about the Health Reform requirements on MassResources.org.
MassHealth is a public health insurance program for people living in Worcester and other parts of Massachusetts. To get MassHealth, you must meet certain general and financial eligibility requirements. Services and costs depend on the type of coverage that you get. Use the MassHealth Eligibility Check on the MassResources.org web site to see if you might qualify for benefits.
Commonwealth Care is a state-funded health insurance program for uninsured low and moderate-income Massachusetts residents. Eligible residents may choose from several health plans offered by private health insurance companies. Monthly fees are based on income. Coverage is free for very low income residents.
Commonwealth Choice is a health insurance program for uninsured adult Massachusetts residents whose incomes are too high for Commonwealth Care. The program offers "good value" private unsubsidized health insurance that meets the requirements of the state's new mandatory health insurance law. Members must pay monthly premiums and other cost-sharing fees.
The Health Safety Net is a program for Massachusetts residents who are not eligible for health insurance, have limited health insurance, or cannot afford to buy health insurance. The Health Safety Net replaced Free Care (Uncompensated Care Pool) on October 1, 2007. Low income residents who qualify for the Safety Net can get medically necessary health services at community health centers and hospitals in Massachusetts at no charge or at a reduced charge. The Safety Net also helps families with medical hardships who do not have enough income to pay their medical bills.
The Children’s Medical Security Plan (CMSP) is a basic health insurance program for Massachusetts children and teens under the age of 19 years who are not eligible for MassHealth. Primary and preventive medical and dental care services are included. Eligibility does not depend on immigration status or income.
Prescription Advantage is a state-sponsored prescription drug insurance plan for Massachusetts seniors and disabled residents who meet eligibility requirements. For people on Medicare, Prescription Advantage helps pay Part D Prescription Drug Plan costs. For people not on Medicare, the program allows members to buy a wide range of prescription drugs, while limiting the amount they must spend each year for the medicine they need.
Medicare is a national health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain people under 65 with disabilities, and people with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure). Medicare is basic protection, and does not cover all medical expenses or most long-term care. Medicare is not a need-based program. Your income and assets do not affect your eligibility.
Several other programs and services help people with special health care needs in the Worcester area. Each of these special programs has its own eligibility requirements, benefits, and application process. These programs include:
Health Insurance Requirements
The Massachusetts Health Reform Act requires all adult Massachusetts residents to have health insurance if they can afford it. Residents without insurance face a tax penalty. You can read more about the Health Reform requirements on MassResources.org.