Massachusetts protest over CeltiCare triggers OnlineAdviser response
This month's news in Massachusetts put us in the unexpected position of explaining a few basic facts about Celticare, Celtic Insurance. and our role as an enrollment adviser for these health plans:
- Massachusetts has a highly regulated health insurance market and is the only state in the U.S. that requires it's residents to purchase health insurance. The state pays for part or all of the health insurance costs for some lower income residents.
- Celtic Life Insurance Company is a private insurance company offering individual health insurance in most states throughout the U.S.
- The most popular and widely known brand name for Celtic Insurance is "Celticare".
- Celticare partnered with Caritas Christi Health Care system to offer a state-sponsored health plan.
- Caritas Christi is a financially strained Catholic-based health care system that does not currently offer abortion services and therefore does not currently contract with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The intent of the partnership was to direct more patients and payments to the hospital without directly requiring the hospital to support abortion services.
- The partnership was awarded a contract by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to begin July 1, 2009. We covered this new insurance introduction in a blog post last month.
- A medical service provider who participates in the Massachusetts state-sponsored health plan and accepts payments from the state for treatment of plan members must abide by applicable state insurance laws. Those laws include a requirement to cover abortion procedures under certain circumstances.
- The circumstances under which abortions would be a covered medical expense in Massachusetts are determined by state law and applicable medical standards. The determination is not at the discretion of the health insurance company.
- The conflict between Catholic beliefs and the legal requirements of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are causing tension, with CeltiCare caught in the middle. A Massachusetts pro-life group is calling on Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley to withdraw Caritas Christi Health Care from the CeltiCare partnership.
- The controversy ended 6/26/09 when Caritas withdrew from partnership the health plan at the insistance of the Cardinal.
- Our OnlineAdviser service supports Celtic Insurance enrollments nationwide through www.celticenrollment.com
- Most individual health insurance policies (especially the low cost policies at MedSave.com and Celticenrollment.com) do not cover abortion, except as required by law.
- An insurance company actually has little, if any, discretion in determining whether an abortion is a medical procedure which must be covered under any insurance policy. This coverage is largely pre-determined by law and the factual circumstances.
- The Massachusetts protest does not affect Celticare or Celtic Insurance plans in any other state.
- Our sole mission is to help people find affordable health insurance and in many cases Celticare provides an excellent choice of quality coverage at a fair price.
- OnlineAdviser is not, and will not be, involved in any political or religious agenda or debate on this issue.
- Any other questions or comments may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org