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So far Health Connector has created 84 blog entries.

Finish your enrollment by December 23rd for January 1, 2017 coverage

If you are renewing your health insurance through the Health Connector for 2017, or are applying for the first time, the deadline to complete your enrollment for coverage that starts January 1 is December 23, 2016. Take action now to be sure that you’ve completed these steps to finish your January 1st enrollment: Complete all of the required information to find out what type of coverage or savings you qualify for, like tax credits, a ConnectorCare plan, or MassHealth. Make sure your information is as up-to-date as possible if you are a renewing member. If you qualify for a Health Connector or ConnectorCare plan, you can use our Shopping Guides and new Provider Search tool to help find a quality health and dental plan to meet your needs and budget. Once you choose a plan, you must make your first premium payment, in full, by December 23, 2016 for your coverage to start January 1, 2017. You can set up monthly recurring payments online so your bill will always be paid on time each month. There are 4 ways to make a payment. Learn about them now → If you are a renewing member and have already set up automatic recurring payments, then you do not need to set up a new recurring payment. Your new premium will be deducted on December 22nd, even if you enrolled in a plan with a different insurance company.  Congratulations. Once you have finished your enrollment, [...]

Monday, December 19th, 2016|

As Health Connector Deadline for January Plans Looms, Members and New Applicants Take Steps for Enrollment

Nearly 28,000 members have switched plans for 2017, more than 24,000 new applicants have picked a plan or enrolled for the New Year BOSTON – December 14, 2016 – With the Dec. 23 deadline approaching for plans starting Jan. 1, 2017, more than 28,000 current Massachusetts Health Connector members have picked a new plan and more than 24,000 new applicants have lined up coverage for the New Year. Open Enrollment started Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, but the Dec. 23 deadline is the most important of the year. For people – both current members and new applicants – who want new coverage for the New Year, the deadline to pick a plan and pay for it is nine days away. The federal deadline is Dec. 15, but Massachusetts residents have additional time under state rules to complete their enrollment. “We are pleased to see so many people, take the time to ‘stop, shop, enroll’ early in Open Enrollment and get into the best plan for their needs for 2017,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “The deadline is Dec. 23 to get coverage for the New Year, which is important for both members who want a different plan next year, and for those who do not have insurance right now.” Before and throughout Open Enrollment, current members have been encouraged to shop for new 2017 plans, particularly those who would otherwise experience a large increase in premium. Members have been active during Open [...]

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016|

Moving Your Health Care When You Choose a New Plan

Are you shopping for a new health plan this Open Enrollment? Use our Health Connector Shopping Guides to help you think about your health plan options this Open Enrollment. If you choose a new health plan, take these steps to transition (move) your health care from the health insurance plan you have now to your new health plan. In this post: What are the first steps I should take to transition (move) my health care to a new health insurance plan? What if I already scheduled surgery, tests, or doctor visits for after my new plan starts? What if my doctor or hospital is not covered through my new plan’s network? What if my medication is not covered through my new plan? What should I do when my new plan starts? What if I followed these steps, but am having trouble accessing health care in my new plan? How can I contact my new health plan with questions? What are the first steps I should take to transition (move) my health care to a new health insurance plan? If you need to change health care providers (such as doctors and hospitals you use) under your new plan, you may want to: Make sure you have enough refills on your prescriptions to last until your new plan starts and your new doctor can write you a prescription. Ask your current doctor or health plan for copies of your medical records, including any prior authorizations or referrals [...]

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016|

Health insurance terms to know as you Stop, Shop & Enroll

Not really sure what an HMO really is? Do you only “Kinda, sorta” understand deductibles? Health insurance seems to have a language of its own and you want to be sure you’re choosing the right plan. Here, we’ll try to help you by explaining some of the most common terms you’ll see while you’re shopping for insurance. Co-insurance If a health care service has co-insurance, you pay a percentage (part) of the cost for that service. Usually, you start to pay co-insurance after you meet your deductible. It is not a fixed cost like a co-pay. The amount you pay depends on the total cost of the service. Co-pay A fixed price you pay when you get certain health care services. Not all services require a co-pay. Deductible The total amount you must pay in a plan year before your plan will pay for part or all of your services. Some services may not have a deductible. They may be free or just have a co-pay, even though you haven’t met the deductible yet. HMO HMO stands for Health Maintenance Organization. If you choose a plan that is an HMO, you must use in-network providers in order to get your services covered. If you go to an out-of-network provider, the plan won’t cover the cost of your care, except in an emergency. If you enroll in [...]

Monday, November 21st, 2016|

Massachusetts Health Connector Members Are Active Shoppers in First Days of Open Enrollment

Many callers using new shopping queue, usage of online provider significantly outpaces last year BOSTON – November 15, 2016 – Massachusetts Health Connector members, many of whom are facing significant premium changes for 2017, have been active shoppers in the first 11 days of Open Enrollment, considering new options for next year. Since the start of Open Enrollment on Nov. 1 through Nov. 11, one-in-five calls to the customer service line have been to a new shopping queue that gives members access to specially-trained representatives designated to work specifically on shopping questions. Also, online users are using the Health Connector’s provider search tool 90 percent more than the first 11 days of last year. “It is encouraging to see so many people taking the time to ‘stop, shop, enroll’ at the start of Open Enrollment, and I hope all of our members take the time to consider what plan is best for next year,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “While premiums for next year are increasing for many of our members, it is quite likely most people can save money and maintain the same level of benefits they currently enjoy, particularly in our ConnectorCare program.” For those in unsubsidized plans experiencing higher increases, the Health Connector likely offers other plans with similar benefits and lower premiums. In the ConnectorCare program, which uses federal and state subsidies to lower members’ costs, almost everyone experiencing an increase can find a lower-cost plan with the same benefit structure [...]

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016|

Massachusetts Health Connector Visits Locations throughout the State, Highlighting ‘Hidden Gems’ and Start of Open Enrollment

Starting Nov. 1, Open Enrollment allows uninsured residents to apply for health insurance, and gives members the chance to shop for new coverage for 2017 OCTOBER 25, 2016 – A week before the start of Open Enrollment, the Massachusetts Health Connector crossed the Commonwealth as part of its one-day, statewide “Hidden Gems” tour to show off an outstanding local gem, and discuss the benefits of getting health insurance through the Health Connector. Open Enrollment starts Nov. 1, and is the time of year when anyone without health insurance can get coverage. It is also the time when current Health Connector members can shop for new coverage for 2017, making sure they have a plan that meets their health needs while also being as affordable as possible. “Open Enrollment offers citizens, both the uninsured and insured, the best opportunity to examine and make choices about their health insurance plan based on their individual and families’ health care needs and their budget,” said Marylou Sudders, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. “With ample choices, our goal is that everyone in the Commonwealth will find an affordable plan and have access to quality health care.” “The Massachusetts hidden gems tour is all about highlighting great places people might not be aware of,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Health Connector. “With costs for certain health premiums rising sharply next year, we are encouraging both current and new members to ‘Stop, Shop, Enroll’ on the Massachusetts Connector health [...]

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016|

Join the Massachusetts Health Connector’s One-Day, Statewide ‘Hidden Gems’ Tour October 25, 2016

On Tuesday, October 25, 2016, the Massachusetts Health Connector is embarking on a one-day, statewide tour that includes stops at "Hidden Gems" across the Commonwealth. Teams from the Health Connector will be hitting the road visiting more than 15 locations around the state as part of the "Hidden Gems" tour. The tour is one week ahead of Open Enrollment, which starts November 1 and is the time of year when anyone without health insurance can apply for coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector. At each stop, the teams will be highlighting the local gem, and you can learn about the benefits of getting health insurance through the Health Connector – including ConnectorCare, which provides plans with low premiums and co-pays, and no deductibles, to those who qualify. You can also meet local officials and representatives from Navigator organizations who have trained staff ready to help you enroll into coverage. Here's where we'll be throughout the day on October 25th. We hope you'll join us: Hidden Gem Locations & Times Follow Revere The Bagel Bin Deli 207 Shirley Avenue Revere, MA TIME: 8:30 a.m. Serving everything from eggs benedict in the morning to Yankee pot roast at night, a local favorite near Revere Beach. [/fusion_fontawesome]Website [/fusion_fontawesome]Facebook [/fusion_fontawesome]Twitter [/fusion_fontawesome]Instagram North Adams Greylock Works 508 State Road North Adams, MA TIME: 9:00 a.m. This former mill is being renovated into event space and a new home for food-based entrepreneurism that will feature regional and local products [...]

Monday, October 24th, 2016|

The Springfield MassHealth Enrollment Center and Health Connector Walk-in Center is moving

Due to the move, the current location at 333 Bridge Street in Springfield will be open limited hours on Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30, 2016. See the chart below for the hours: MassHealth Enrollment Center Thursday, September 29 Open 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Friday, September 30 Open 12:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Health Connector Walk-in Center Thursday, September 29 Open 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Friday, September 30 Closed . If you need while the location is closed during the move, you can call customer service or visit another help center location → We will re-open at our new location on Monday, October 3 at 9:00 a.m. Starting October 3, 2016, the new address will be: 88 Industry Avenue Springfield, MA 01104 The hours will be the same as the current location: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Getting to the new location Pioneer Valley Bus Transportation: Take Route G2-Carew-East Springfield/Belmont-Dwight Road By Car (parking is available): From the NORTH: Follow I-91 South to MassPike (I-90) East to Exit 6 (Springfield). Take left onto I-291 West. On I-291, take exit 5. At the light, turn left onto Page Boulevard. Continue on Page Boulevard for a ¼ mile, then turn right onto Robbins Road. At the traffic light, Industry Avenue is straight ahead. Continue on Industry Avenue to number 88. Parking is on the left. From the EAST: Follow MassPike (I-90) West to Exit 6 (Springfield). Take left onto I-291 West. On I-291, take exit 5. [...]

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016|

Health Connector Announces Outreach and Enrollment Navigators for Open Enrollment 2017

BOSTON – Thursday, September 8, 2016 –The Massachusetts Health Connector today announced 15 community groups from around Massachusetts have been selected as Navigators, using their experience and knowledge to help people without coverage sign up for insurance during Open Enrollment and throughout the year. Open Enrollment starts November 1 and runs through January 31, 2017, and is the time of year when anyone who does not have health insurance can sign up for coverage through the Health Connector, and those with existing coverage can consider a new plan for the next year. The Health Connector is the state’s health insurance Exchange, and is the only outlet for people to buy a commercial health plan and receive financial assistance to help pay for it. “Having health insurance means you can get the care you need and pay less for it, particularly if you qualify for the ConnectorCare program, which has low premiums and co-pays, and no deductible,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “Navigators can help us find uninsured people in their neighborhoods, and help those people apply for coverage and pick the best plan for their family.” Navigators are community organizations that help uninsured people complete an application and select a plan, and they can also assist currently-insured people shop and make sure they are in the right plan for 2017. The Health Connector’s network of Navigators will focus on outreach and assistance in areas across the state with higher rates of uninsured residents, working [...]

Thursday, September 8th, 2016|

Massachusetts Health Care Law Turns 10

Since the landmark Massachusetts heath care reform law was enacted by former Governor Mitt Romney on April 12, 2006, the Commonwealth has since gained one of the highest insured rates in the nation. Over the past decade, hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts residents and small businesses have been able to access high-quality and affordable coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector. PRESS RELEASE: State House Leaders Issue Statements on Ten Year Anniversary of Universal Health Care in Massachusetts Health Care Reform Timeline Health Reform is signed into law. Commonwealth Care opens enrollment for people with incomes below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level. Commonwealth Care opens for people with incomes of up to 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. Open enrollment begins for Commonwealth Choice. With some exceptions, Massachusetts adults must have health insurance. Any health insurance plan licensed for sale in Massachusetts qualifies at this date. All employers with 11 or more full-time-equivalent employees in Massachusetts must offer a Section 125 Plan that meets Health Connector standards.  Employers who fail to do this may be charged part of the cost when an employee needs state help to pay for urgently needed medical care. Employers with 11 or more full-time-equivalent Massachusetts employees must make a “fair and reasonable” contribution toward an employee health plan or pay a state assessment of up to $295 per employee, per year. Massachusetts adults must show that they have enrolled in a health insurance plan or lose their personal income tax deduction on [...]

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016|