A Healthy Blog

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

Helpline

Congressman Markey Working To Strengthen Health Reform Implementation

While the US House Republicans are working to undermine the gains of the Affordable Care Act, and impact Massachusetts in the process, members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation are using the lessons of our implementation of chapter 58 to strengthen health reform. Led by Congressman Ed Markey, these members sent a letter (pdf) last week calling for funding of state consumer assistance programs, a critical part of health reform. The letter was signed by 14 members of Congress, including Massachusetts Representatives Capuano, Frank, Lynch, McGovern, Neal, Tierney and Tsongas in... Read more »

HCFA HelpLine Inundated with Dental Calls

The HCFA HelpLine is often the first place that we see the trends that come from big gaps in our system of care. The loss of restorative dental care - such as fillings, root canals, and dentures - for the 700,000 adults on the MassHealth adult dental program is one such breach. We see the fallout of these cuts demonstrated dramatically on the HelpLine. In 2009, before the cuts, the HelpLine fielded 95 calls regarding dental services between July 1 and October 1. This year, the number of dental-related calls has jumped significantly: between July 1, 2010 and October 1, 2010, the HelpLine... Read more »

Together We Can!: Feds Back Innovative State/HCFA/HLA Partnership

Today federal HHS awarded the Commonwealth a $743,000 consumer assistance grant for implementation of national health reform (federal press release, fact sheet, and blog post). Today Senator Kerry cheered the grant, saying “this investment will ensure that patients across Massachusetts get the health care information they need to protect themselves and their families.” Read more »

213 Kids Enrolled - and Counting

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. Read more »

Making Health Reform Work: State Consumer Assistance Programs

Our colleagues at the Community Service Society NY and Community Catalyst have released a fantastic (and beautiful to look at too!) new report (pdf) that highlights the importance of State Consumer Assistance Programs (CAPs) in making health reform implementation work best for real people. Consumer Assistance Programs provide essential information and enrollment assistance to consumers looking for the best health plan for them. CAPs also help to ensure that people know how to use their health care coverage to access the care that they need. In addition to direct service, CAPs also provide... Read more »

Report From The Front: "I have heard desperation in our callers’ voices that I have not heard before"

[HCFA Helpline Counselor Hannah Frigand is on the frontline of what's happening in Massachusetts. Our Helpline volume is up, as some 1000 people a week call for assistance with their health coverage. For our callers, health care policy has personal dimension that can not be ignored. Hannah wrote this first-person report last week:] Thousands of people are calling our HelpLine due to the impact of the hard decisions our state has had to make due to the economic climate. I have heard many stories and seen many trends since I began answering calls at the HelpLine four years ago. Throughout the... Read more »

National Health Reform is Good For Massachusetts: Helping Pam

HCFA’s HelpLine is on track to field more than 40,000 calls this year. Every day we hear from HelpLine callers who tell us that were it not for our help, they would be stuck without access to health care. National health care reform would ensure access to health care coverage for millions of Americans by including funding for consumer assistance programs. The story below demonstrates the importance of consumer assistance programs like our HelpLine. – Kate Bicego Pam (not her real name) called the HelpLine because her employer stopped helping her to pay for her health insurance coverage.... Read more »

National Health Reform is Good for Massachusetts: Meet Melissa and Tom

Health Care for All’s Helpline hears from thousands of callers each year that don’t have health insurance because they can’t afford it. The high cost forces people to make decisions between buying food, housing, and paying their bills or purchasing health insurance to protect their families. Today we would like to share one such story with our readers. Melissa and Tom first contacted the HelpLine in 2008 when they opened their small business. The couple has worked hard to provide for their family, and their two young children. They were delighted to find out that their entire family... Read more »

National health reform is good for Massachusetts

HCFA will be posting a blog-a-day about why national health reform is good for Massachusetts. These posts will include personal stories from people who have benefited from our state’s health reform law and how national health reform can help millions of others like them across the country. My name is Kate and I'm a member of Health Care for All's HelpLine. I’m also the family member of a cousin who died far too young because she couldn’t afford to pay for the health care she needed. This blog is dedicated to her. Since I joined the HelpLine in 2005, I’ve heard thousands of stories from people... Read more »

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