Private insurers can sell policies outside of Commonwealth Choice that do not have the Connector Seal of Approval or meet the standards for minimum creditable coverage. Until 2009, you can buy these other policies and still be in compliance with the individual mandate. Starting in 2009, individuals must ensure that the policy purchased meet these standards to avoid a penalty. However, all policies sold through Commonwealth Choice are required to meet these standards.
As is true for Commonwealth Choice policies, all other individual health insurance policies in Massachusetts must be sold on a guaranteed issue basis. All policies must set premiums using modified community rating. No policies can impose a pre-existing condition exclusion period longer than 6 months. No policies can impose a pre-existing condition exclusion period on people who are HIPAA eligible. All policies must be guaranteed renewable
For more information about individual health insurance policies that do not have the Connector Seal of Approval, contact the Massachusetts Division of Insurance at (617) 512-7490 or visit them on the web at http://www.mass.gov/doi/.