UPDATE: An FAQ and an update from the Health Connector (Tuesday 12/17, 2 pm):
In accordance with Acting Gov. Galvin’s request to release all non-emergency employees today due to inclement weather, the Health Connector call center is closing at 2 p.m. today (Tuesday 12/17). The lines will re-open tomorrow at 7 a.m.
Question. What happens to an individual who is unable to get their application through online for January 1st coverage?
Answer. Applying online is the fastest way to get coverage for January 1. If you encounter any technical difficulties creating an account, call 1-877-MA ENROLL (877-623-6765) to complete your application. The Health Connector Customer Service Center has more than doubled its staff since October and is now offering applicants the opportunity to schedule an appointment with a Customer Service Representative who will call the applicant back within the applicant's choice of four blocks of time during a day that the applicant chooses.
Question. Can you clarify to whom the temporary coverage for January 1st applies?
Answer. Our highest priority is to ensure that all of our populations that seek insurance coverage will have access to coverage without gaps or delay. If we are not able to process certain applications we will provide applicants seeking financial assistance with temporary access to coverage for January 1, 2014 until we are able to process them into their final new coverage. Those who have applied for non-subsidized coverage online or by paper MUST select a plan and make a payment by December 23 to enroll in coverage for January 1st.
Customer Service Center Update:
The Health Connector's Customer Service Center (1-877-MA ENROLL (1-877-623-6765) will offer extended hours this weekend. They will be open on Sunday, December 22, from 9:00am-3:00pm to offer consumers assistance in completing applications or making plan selections.
As we mentioned in our blog last Friday, the Health Connector and MassHealth are doing the right thing by extending Commonwealth Care, Medical Security, and Insurance Partnership coverage until March 31st, 2014. Current members of these health insurance programs will need to reapply for help paying for health insurance between now and March 24th, 2014 in order to have health insurance for the rest of 2014. See details below about how to reapply and reenroll for coverage beyond March 2014.
What about the people that are losing health insurance coverage on December 31st or are currently uninsured?
The Health Connector and MassHealth have made a commitment to ensuring that folks are covered on January 1st, 2014. The details of this coverage are still being worked out, but we wanted to let our readers know so that the public is as informed as possible and hopefully to ease some anxiety.
How do folks ensure that they have health insurance coverage on January 1st, 2014?
There are four ways to get health insurance for January 1st:
- Apply online at mahealthconnector.org
- Apply over-the-phone by calling 877-MA-ENROLL (877-623-6765)
- Apply via paper application here for help paying for health insurance or here for health insurance with no subsidy
- Apply in-person with a navigator or certified application counselor. See the list of them here. [http://bettermahealthconnector.org/get-help/]
What if I already applied and have not received a notice about my new coverage?
The Health Connector and MassHealth are working furiously to process all of the applications they have received for health insurance coverage for January 1st, 2014. If you filled out a paper application for help paying for health insurance, you will receive a notice within the next couple of weeks regarding your new health insurance coverage that starts January 1st. If you filled out a paper application for private health insurance without help paying for health insurance, you will receive a notice very soon with your plan choices and/or bill for your premium*.
***Important note: In order to have health insurance coverage for January 1st, 2014, you need to have sent in your completed application and premium payment (if you have to pay a premium) by December 23rd, 2013.***
UPDATE: Here's our summary of what people need to do to keep their coverage:
Affordable Care Act Coverage Transition Guide
For People Wanting to Apply for Immediate Coverage Before December 31st, 2013
- Fill out a Virtual Gateway or the new application for help paying for health insurance. Make sure to check that you want immediate coverage!
For Current Commonwealth Care members (Over 138% FPL [Federal Poverty Level])