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, while only 10% reported speaking English.
“Massachusetts has the nation’s highest rate of health insurance, with over 97 percent of the population covered; however there are areas in the Commonwealth where many remain uninsured. Framingham, for example, has a significant number of uninsured residents, and we know that many uninsured residents speak a language other than English. Today, we are here to help people navigate the enrollment process in English, Spanish and Portuguese,” said Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Executive Director of Health Care For All.
State Senator Karen Spilka (above), as well as State Representatives Chris Walsh and Carmine Gentile welcomed the group. Also attending were Louis Gutierrez, Executive Director of Massachusetts Health Connector, and Michael Hugo, Chair of the Framingham Board of Health, as well as Edna Smith, chair of the Community Health Network of Greater Metrowest (CHNA 7).
The ‘Grand Enrollment Event’ was a part of a larger Open Enrollment effort conducted by the Health Connector and MassHealth, as well as numerous community organizations and health care providers statewide. Massachusetts residents have until January 31st to apply, enroll in a health plan, and pay their premium for coverage for 2016. Please call HCFA’s HelpLine at 800-272-4232 if you or someone you know needs help applying or renewing their health care coverage.