A Healthy Blog

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


Washington Post Visits HCFA: "Meet Kate Bicego, the woman who knows how to implement Obamacare"

Yesterday, Sarah Kliff from the Washington Post's Wonkblog visited HCFA and Community Catalyst, and here's her fabulous report: Meet Kate Bicego, the woman who knows how to implement Obamacare. Kate is HCFA's Helpline Manager, and, as Kliff reported, she and the other Helpline staffers are the crucial link in turning the promise of coverage into reality: If anyone can claim to know how best to implement Obamacare, it might be Kate Bicego. Bicego isn’t affiliated with any university or government agency. She isn’t a household name in health policy. She works in a nondescript cubicle in... Read more »

Public Health Committee Approves CMSP, Drug Marketing, Outreach Bills

Yesterday the Joint Committee on Public Health, chaired by Senator Susan Fargo and Representative Jeffrey Sanchez recommended favorably 27 bills, and moved along two additional bills to the Committee on Health Care Financing.  Among the bills were some important HCFA priorities that will make a difference in improved health for people in Massachusetts. We thank Chairs Fargo and Sanchez for approving these measures, and hope they will quickly move through the legislative process. Read more »

Follow Up To Nancy Turnbull's Questions: Why Are So Many Low-Income People In Massachusetts Still Uninsured?

Connector Board member Nancy Turnbull asked an important question on the 'BUR CommonHealth blog on Tuesday, Why Are So Many Low-Income People In Massachusetts Still Uninsured? Nancy reviewed the just-released 2009 Department of Revenue data on tax-reported health insurance coverage, and found that some 114,000 low-income uninsured taxpayers are likely eligible for state assistance, either through MassHealth or Commonwealth Care. Nancy asks how can we reach these people, and get them into coverage which will improve their health and protect against unaffordable medical costs. Read more »

CMS Honors HCFA Staffer and Massachusetts Children's Outreach

This week the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognized HCFA's Children's Health Policy and Outreach Manager, Dayanne Leal, for her outstanding efforts to identify and enroll eligible children in MassHealth and other children's health program. Dayanne was one of 10 honored by CMS for their efforts on behalf of enrollment. CMS's award citation noted the collaborative efforts of many organizations in Massachusetts who work together to find and enroll children in health coverage: Read more »

Got Coverage? 1,479 More Kids in MA Do Now!

It’s been a whirlwind month, but the first phase of the “got coverage?” Kids Enrollment Challenge is DONE! And thanks to the tireless efforts of 66 enrollment organizations statewide, HCFA is proud to announce that 1,479 previously uninsured children now have health coverage!! The end of the first phase was celebrated today at an event at the State House Grand Staircase, where state and federal leaders extended their gratitude to each of the participating organizations for their devotion and hard work over the last month to find and enroll at least 500 uninsured children. Nearly tripling our... Read more »

Breathtakingly Historic: Universal Coverage for Kids Achieved in MA

For us at HCFA, the report of the continued increase in insurance coverage cheered us yet again. The 2010 Massachusetts Health Insurance Survey from DHCFP reported the extraordinary finding that 98.1% of all Massachusetts residents have coverage, a statistically significant increase from last year's level of 97.3% (full report (pdf); 1-page summary (pdf); press release). Read more »

Demystifying Enrollment - BMC HealthNet's Video

BMC HealthNet Plan has created a great YouTube promotional video that also explains the process for applying for MassHealth and Commonwealth Care. YouTube is a fantastic way to reach wide populations. Kudos to BMC HealthNet for jumping into the social media sphere.-Suzanne Curry Read more »

Accept the Challenge: Enrolling All Kids Into Coverage

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced “The Secretary’s Challenge: Connecting Kids to Coverage,” a campaign that will challenge federal officials, governors, mayors, community organizations, tribal leaders and faith-based organizations to enroll uninsured children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but are not enrolled. In response to the Secretary’s challenge, the got coverage? Health Coverage For Kids and Teens campaign is launching the got coverage? Massachusetts Three-Week Challenge to enroll the remaining 32,000 uninsured children and teens living in... Read more »

Budget Conference: You Can Close The Bridge, But People Still Need To Cross The River

The House and Senate conferees reported their FY 2011 budget last night (full text; Globe coverage). Facing no good choices, the conference budget makes deep cuts in health programs, along with many other areas of state government we all rely on. The House and Senate are scheduled to vote on the budget this afternoon. This post summarizes our initial read of the budget document; we'll update it during the day as we better understand the implications of the budget. [Update - the always authoritative Mass Budget and Policy Center analysis is here, and their health care discussion is here.] Read more »


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