A Healthy Blog

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

213 Kids Enrolled - and Counting

213 Kids Enrolled - and Counting

October 11, 2010

September 29th was a very busy and special day at Health Care For All as staff and volunteers were engaged to make a difference in children's lives. Our got coverage? Health Coverage For Kids and Teens campaign launched HCFA's first ever Phone-a-thon to enroll children.

It was amazing to watch over 15 staff and volunteers from different backgrounds and languages moving around throughout the day to make sure families were able to enroll their children into health coverage. At 9:00 AM the phones started ringing and did not stop even for a second until we closed down 12 hours later . Everywhere you looked (see our slideshow) counselors and volunteers were talking to families with children who needed assistance accessing health coverage.

To give a perspective to the day, HCFA’s HelpLine typically enrolls between 50 to 75 children over a period of three months, but on September 29th alone, 134 kids and teens were assisted with their MassHealth application. If there were more hours in the day they would have helped many more families. Counselors and volunteers could not keep up with the volume of calls and about 300 messages were left on the counselors' voice mails. The Phone-a-thon may be officially over, but the work continues and HCFA’s HelpLine counselors with the help of volunteers who speak Portuguese and Spanish are assisting the families who left voice mails on that day as well as other calls who continue to come in as a result of the promotion done prior to the phoneathon. So far, an additional 79 kids and teens were assisted.

Some highlights of the day include:

  • The phone lines were opened at 9:00, and by 9:10 we had already received 25 phone calls in Portuguese.
  • Some families waited on the phone for one hour and did not give up.
  • The day was filled with heart-breaking stories when families shared their circumstances.
  • Counselors and volunteers shared how grateful families were for the help they were receiving.
  • The event was covered by Univision and Channel 7. Click on the screenshot above to go to the Channel 7 video.

HCFA staff is reminding families that if they were unable to reach one of the Helpline counselors and volunteers on September 29th, there is still time to enroll their children and teens into free or low cost health care coverage, by calling us at 1-800-272-4232.
-Dayanne Leal