A Healthy Blog

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

Outreach

Immigrants At Higher Risk Of Being Disconnected To Coverage And Care

The immigrant community has always been at the core of much of the work that Health Care For All (HCFA) does. HCFA’s HelpLine handles over 20,000 calls each year, and 50% percent of these calls come from individuals who do not speak English as a first language. Many of our callers are immigrants. Over the years, we have implemented outreach and educational activities in areas of Massachusetts with a higher concentration of foreign-born populations, such as Framingham, Chelsea, Lowell, Waltham, and Somerville. Even though health disparities persist, we have made great strides in connecting... Read more »

Good Oral Health a Key Component of Good Overall Health

Everyone should have the opportunity to have good health; oral health is an important component of this. In honor of National Public Health Week, we are highlighting the importance of oral health in maintaining the overall health of all people. Read more »

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 »

Framingham Enrollment Session: One Example of Effective Partnership with Ethnic Media and Groups on the Ground

With the end of Open Enrollment approaching, Health Care For All (HCFA) decided to host one last enrollment session in the city of Framingham on Saturday, January 20th 2018 to help those residents who still needed assistance applying for health insurance. HCFA coordinated an event alongside Rede ABR Radio Brasileira, the Joint Committee for Children’s Health Care in Everett, and the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center to serve the community. A group picture featuring all of our dedicated volunteers following a successful enrollment session 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 »

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