A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Outreach

Blue Cross Foundation Study Looks at the Remaining Uninsured in Massachusetts

Last week, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and the University of Massachusetts Medical School released a report entitled “The Remaining Uninsured in MA: Experiences of Individuals Living without Health Insurance Coverage” (read the report here). Massachusetts continues to have the lowest uninsured rate in the nation, with some 97% of residents covered. However, about 200,000 people of diverse age, race and employment status remain uninsured. The goal of this study was to figure out the reasons why people remained uninsured and help inform policy suggestions which would... Read more »

HCFA Enrollment Event in Framingham Connects People to Coverage

Nearly 300 individuals gathered at Fuller Middle School in Framingham this past Saturday, January 16th, seeking health care coverage enrollment and navigation assistance, as well as other health services. Health Care For All’s ‘Grand Enrollment Event’ featured more than 70 HCFA staff and volunteers, including Spanish and Portuguese-speaking health insurance Navigators and Certified Application Counselors. Volunteers helped 154 individuals, 107 of whom were uninsured upon arriving to the event, to enroll in health care coverage. 86% of event attendees self-reported as Portuguese-speaking,... Read more »

Wide Variation in Insurance Rates in Massachusetts

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation has just released a detailed set of reports on uninsurance rates in the state, The Geography of Uninsurance in Massachusetts, 2011-2015. The report is based the five years of data from the census’ American Community Survey (ACS), which surveys 2 million households annually to identify uninsured residents. Since the implementation of Chapter 58 our 2006 state health reform law, the insurance rate has increased dramatically. In 2015, 97.2% of the population had access to health care. However, “The Geography of Uninsurance, 2011-2015”... Read more »

Open Enrollment Season is Upon Us

The Health Connector's Open Enrollment period has begun, and with it, the opportunity for people to sign up for health insurance or renew their coverage for 2017. In Massachusetts, ten insurers are offering up 62 different plans for the next year. During this year’s Open Enrollment, it is especially important for Health Connector members to review their plan and compare their options, as some changes have been enacted that may affect their coverage. Some Connector members will be facing substantial increases in monthly premiums. About 70,000 notices from the Health Connector will be going out... Read more »

Free Trainings For People Who Work With MassHealth and Connector Members

Health Care For All is offering free trainings to assisters and groups serving MassHealth and Health Connector members in Massachusetts. At the sessions, you will learn who needs to take action for their coverage, and how to help MassHealth members complete their renewal forms. There will be both webinar and in-person trainings. If the trainings below are not good for you, and you would like to host your own training, contact Kate Bicego at kbicego@hcfama.org or 617-275-2912. The webinars will be on March 6th, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., and on March 13th, 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. For information or to... Read more »

With a week to go in open enrollment, Connector and MassHealth on track to process 450,000 eligible Bay Staters (UPDATE: It's over 460,000)

The Health Connector released their Weekly Open Enrollment dashboard report, which rolls up the week's daily dashboards and shows additional details (all the dashboards are eventually posted here, and today's full dashboard is also here). Here's the data on eligibility determinations: Read more »

Latest Storm Update from the Connector: Phones Open Tuesday; 2/1 Payment Deadline Moved To Friday

Just in from the Connector: Given the state of emergency and statewide travel ban, the Health Connector’s call center offices in Boston and Worcester will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, January 27. However, consumers will still be able to call 1-877-MA-ENROLL from 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. for application and payment assistance. We will be leveraging a limited number of off-site customer service representatives to continue to assist consumers during this busy period. Read more »

Act Now, Stay Covered! (UPDATE - Payment Deadline Extended)

We are 60 days into Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment. While there has been a lot of progress in transitioning Massachusetts residents to new coverage, there is a long way to go by February 15th, the last day of the formal open enrollment period. UPDATE - the Connector has extended the payment deadline on Friday. See this: Read more »

Transitions and Progress - Connector Board meeting 1/15/15

Like the December meeting, when the Connector Board bid farewell to former Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor, today’s Connector Board meeting was one of transitions. It was the first meeting shared by the new Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore, as well as the last board meeting for Jean Yang in her capacity as Executive Director of the Health Connector. Jean shared parting words reflecting on her time as Executive Director and recognizing the hard work of her staff. Several board members also shared their thanks and reflections on Jean’s time at the... Read more »

Worcester and Fall River Enrollment Events (one even has Sharks!)(the hockey kind)

Health Care For All is working with the Connector and MassHealth to sponsor a number of free health coverage enrollment events in the coming weeks. This is a chance to sign up for coverage, and get personal help and questions answered by authoritative experts. The next two events are in Worcester, on Wednesday, January 7, and Fall River, on Monday, January 12. The Worcester event will run from noon to 8 p.m. at the DCU Center at 50 Foster Street, on January 7. In Fall River, it will be also be from noon to 8 p.m., at Bristol Community College – Building G, at 777 Elsbree Street, on January 12... Read more »

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