Chapter 288

AN ACT TO PROMOTE COST CONTAINMENT, TRANSPARENCY AND EFFICIENCY IN THE PROVISION OF QUALITY HEALTH INSURANCE FOR INDIVIDUALS AND SMALL BUSINESSES. 

INTRODUCTION

Virtually every resident of Massachusetts has access to affordable health insurance, thanks to Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006, the landmark health reform law enacted in 2006.  After achieving near universal insurance coverage for residents through Chapter 58, Massachusetts health policy shifted its focus to controlling the rising rate of health care spending in the Commonwealth. Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010 was enacted to promote cost containment, transparency, and efficiency in health insurance for individuals and small businesses.

This resource opens up the language of Chapter 288 to allow you to more easily search and understand the legislative structures of Massachusetts’ health care cost containment provisions and associated regulations.

For each section of the Chapter 288, this site allows you to view:

  1. The most up-to-date text of the health reform law;
  2. The legislative source of the section;
  3. A concise summary of its effect; and
  4. Links to resources related to implementation of the section.

This site will be updated at the end of each year's legislative session to reflect any changes occurring during the prior year. We welcome your comments, corrections, and suggestions at policy@bluecrossmafoundation.org.

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STRUCTURAL OVERVIEW OF MASSACHUSETTS’ HEALTH CARE COST CONTAINMENT LAW

Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010 is called a “session law,” which is composed of General Law and special law provisions.

    1. General Law provisions: Massachusetts General Laws (MGLs) are standing laws of general applicability, arranged into chapters, and subdivided into sections. This can be confusing because session laws that make changes to General Laws, such as Chapter 288, are also named chapters and are divided into sections. The legal source section of each Chapter 288 provision identifies the MGL source and special law amendment applicable to that provision.

      Note: This site includes the most current version of Chapter 288. In some places where Chapter 288 made changes to only a small part of a General Law, the pre-existing provisions of General Law that were unaffected by health care cost containment reform were omitted. Those omissions are indicated in the text as "[unchanged text not shown]"

 

  1. Special law provisions: These are free-standing provisions that generally have specific or time-bound applicability. This site presents all of the special law sections included in Chapter 288 in their amended form, if applicable, as well as the effective dates of the General Law changes made by the statute.

The original text of Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010 is available on the state legislative website. The bill text presented on this site is the current health care cost containment law in Massachusetts, updated as of December 2011.

All of the source legal materials can be found at www.malegislature.gov, under "Existing Laws."