Member Updates

Turning 26? What you need to know to #StayCovered

Are you turning 26 soon and still on your parent’s health insurance policy?  Did you know that you will need to take action or you may no longer have health insurance? Don’t worry, you have options! Turning 26 triggers a special enrollment period that allows you to enroll in new health insurance coverage a within 60-days of your birthday. Get coverage from your job If you have a job that offers insurance, you can enroll in that coverage as turning 26—known as aging out—is considered a qualifying life event and will enable you to enroll in job-based coverage outside of your job’s open enrollment period. Get covered through your school If you are a college student, you may be able to enroll in a student health insurance plan through your school. Find out more Apply for coverage through the Health Connector When you apply for coverage through the Health Connector, you could be eligible for subsidies to help lower the cost of health insurance. Also, depending on your household size, income, and other factors, you may be eligible for MassHealth (Medicaid) coverage. By apply for coverage through the Health Connector, you can see if you are eligible for coverage through the Health Connector or MassHealth without needing to complete a separate application. Get started now → Get help applying → Do I qualify for help paying for health insurance costs? If you’re not your parent’s tax dependent when you lose coverage you may be eligible for savings if you qualify based [...]

Important Update & Upcoming Maintenance

The Health Connector and MassHealth application will undergo planned maintenance Friday, July 31 at 8 p.m. through Sunday, August 2 at 12 p.m. During this maintenance period, you will not be able to access the application. Please plan ahead if you are applying for the first time, or need to update an existing account. Why is this maintenance happening? The Massachusetts Health Connector and MassHealth application is moving to a new website address. Starting Sunday, August 2, 2020, our new application web address will be at https://mahix.org/individual. If you already have an account, don’t worry. Your information is not changing. You won’t have to create a new login, all of your application information will be the same, and your enrollment information will not be impacted. This move does not impact Health Connector for Business. To make this happen, the website will be unavailable July 31 at 8:00 p.m. through August 2 at 12:00 p.m. and you won’t be able to complete the following activities during this time: Apply for health coverage Update your account information Upload documents View Health Connector notices Shop for a ConnectorCare or Health Connector plan Payments to the Health Connector If you are a Health Connector member and want to pay your premium, you will be able to do so through the guest payment portal. Important If you need to complete any actions that will be unavailable during the maintenance time as we move, we kindly ask that you do so before July 31 at 8:00 p.m. or wait until the application [...]

Health Connector benefits and public charge

Download a PDF document of this information → Some people who apply for a green card (lawful permanent residence) or a visa to enter the U.S. must pass a “public charge” test. The public charge test is used to decide if a person is likely to use certain government benefits in the future. Under new immigration rules that started on February 24, 2020, certain government health programs are now included with other circumstances that officials look at as part of the public charge test. Download a PDF document of this information → Here’s what you need to know about the public charge test if you have health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector or are thinking about applying: The new public charge rule does not apply to U.S. citizens (including naturalized citizens), green card holders who don’t leave the country for 180 continuous days. The public charge rule also does not apply to many other immigrants including refugees and asylees The new public charge rule does not change whether you qualify for health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector Getting health insurance through the Health Connector--with or without financial help—is not considered a public benefit. It will not be a negative factor in a public charge test Health Connector health insurance without financial help is considered a strongly positive factor under the public charge test Health Connector coverage with financial help (ConnectorCare plans and Advance Premium Tax Credits) may be [...]

Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and reminders

During this important time, we want to let you know that we are making every effort to make sure there will be no interruption in service for our members on account of the current coronavirus health crisis. All actions that members need to complete to maintain coverage are still available—such as making payments, sending documents, and updating account information. However, to protect people’s safety, our walk-in centers are closed until further notice. Our call center will stay open, but it may be operating with longer wait times as we work to help members. We’re asking all members to use our online resources as much as possible in the coming days to reduce exposure to other people in Massachusetts and help us keep our call center services as available to as many people as possible. Online resources for members How to pay online or by mail Upload documents online  Update account information online Please update your information if your income has dropped We know that many people might not be able to work the same number of hours or make as much money as they normally do because their work is affected by changes related to the coronavirus. For this reason, it’s very important for Health Connector members to update their account information if they find their income has changed. If you are making less money than usual, you may be able to qualify for lower-cost health insurance. Learn how to update your income information online now → If you know anyone who [...]

Health Connector Walk-in Centers Closed Due to Coronavirus Concerns

Summary: All walk-in centers are closed until further notice If you need help signing up for coverage, call customer service at 1-877-623-6765  (TTY 1-877-623-7773 for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled.) In-person payments will not be accepted at any walk-in location until further notice. You can sign into your account to make a payment or to mail a check or money order to the address included in your invoice. Scheduled Maintenance: Starting Tuesday, June 30 at 6:00 p.m., online payments and paperless notices are unavailable. The system will be available again the morning of July 6. If you need to make a payment during this period, you may do so by mail. Learn more about these changes → All Massachusetts Health Connector walk-in centers are closed until further notice due to concerns about the coronavirus. We have taken this action with the health and safety of our members and employees as our top priority. If you need assistance with your Health Connector plan or application for coverage, please call our customer service center toll-free at 1-877-623-6765 (TTY 1-877-623-7773 for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled.). Local Navigators or Certified Application Counselors may be available to provide in-person assistance. You can find a list of those locations at MAhealthconnector.org, but the availability of that assistance is at the discretion of the location and you should call in advance. If you need to make a payment, we currently do not accept [...]

Important information about coverage for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Insurers in Massachusetts, including those that offer health plans through the Health Connector, are now required to cover the cost of testing and treatment for members who may be affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Massachusetts Division of Insurance (DOI) has asked health insurance companies to take several steps to help protect people in Massachusetts against coronavirus, including the following: Set up telephone helplines to answer questions about coronavirus Make telehealth services more available and at a lower cost to members. This is so members can be seen and treated by a doctor without having to go into an office whenever possible Remove coronavirus testing and treatment costs (like co-pays) when medically needed More information Contact your health insurance company if you have specific questions about your benefits Learn more about the coronavirus from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Learn more about the DOI guidelines for health insurers in Massachusetts

Shop smart to avoid health insurance scams

Not all companies selling health insurance are actually selling you good coverage. Some companies may try to sign you up for a “scam plan” that doesn’t meet legal requirements or may not even be real. These plans look affordable on the surface, but they may not offer the services or benefits you need to meet state standards. They may end up leaving you with big bills if you need care. That’s why it’s important to be a smart insurance shopper. Use these tips to watch out for plans that won’t be there for you when you need them, and learn how to find a health plan you can trust. Checklist for choosing health insurance you can trust Beware of unsolicited offers of health coverage over the phone or online. Many predatory companies will call you on your phone. They may use high-pressure sales tactics and claim that they can offer you low-cost access to name-brand health plans. If you get a call from a salesperson offering you health insurance, follow these tips to protect yourself: Research a phone number or company online to check its history. Never share personal information with an unsolicited telemarketer. Know that legitimate calls from the Health Connector about your coverage will only come from 1-877-623-6765, and state that “we’re calling from the Massachusetts Health Connector.” Check with the Division of Insurance (DOI) to make sure the health plan is legitimate. You should only buy health insurance from a company that is licensed [...]

Celiac Disease Friendly Restaurants in Massachusetts

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. If you have the disease, or a gluten sensitivity, going out to eat can be a challenge. We looked at top choices from Find Me Gluten Free—a website dedicated to help people with gluten-sensitivity find safe restaurant choices—to share some top Massachusetts locations. Luckily, there are many restaurants all over Commonwealth that offer delicious, gluten-free and allergen-friendly options. Here are just a few options available: Sunset Grill and Pizza, Amherst, MA Looking for a quick bite out to eat with friends? Customers with Celiac Disease find it hard to find safe pizza option without a lot of research ahead of time, but Sunset Grill and Pizza makes it easy with its variety of gluten-free pizzas, sandwiches, and desserts. One customer even claimed that “eating here makes me feel like I don’t have Celiac!” Woodman’s of Essex, Essex, MA There are many good seafood options in New England, and Woodman’s in Essex offers a wide variety of options for all types of customers. Customers with gluten allergies can enjoy fried favorites like calamari and french-fries without worry, making the restaurant widely popular among customers with 96% of 60 voters rating it as Celiac-friendly and an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars among 65 reviewers. Milford Pizza Palace, Milford, MA If you think Celiac Disease means you are banned from pizza forever, think again. This Worcester County restaurant not only has an entire Gluten-Free menu, but the menu also lists every single ingredient [...]

ABCs of Health Insurance: Words to Know

Not really sure how a co-payment is different from co-insurance? Do you only “Kinda, sorta” understand deductibles? Health insurance has 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—and using—your insurance. Premium The amount you pay each month for your health insurance. You must pay your premium every month, whether or not you use health care services. The Health Connector will send you a bill for your premium each month. The premium will always be due by the 23rd of the month. 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. Co-pay A fixed price you pay when you get certain health care services. Not all services require a co-pay. 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 [...]

3 Tips to Find the Right Health Care Provider

You’re in the market for a new primary care provider. Maybe you’re in college and you’ve aged out of the pediatrician you’ve been seeing since you were young. Maybe you’re moving to a new city. Or, maybe your current provider is retiring. Either way, finding a provider can be challenging. Here are some tips to help make your search easier. 1. Ask your friends and family Do you have any family members or friends who live in your area? After all, you’re looking for someone to take care of you and keep you healthy, so who better to ask than people you trust and care about you? While you can look reviews online—and this is a good option if you don’t know anyone in your local area—it is helpful to be able to ask questions about a person’s experiences with area providers. You can count on people you know to give you detailed answers to not only find providers, but help you make decisions. 2. Contact your health plan Some insurance plans may assign you to a provider. This is helpful when you don’t have time to search for a provider who not only takes your insurance, but is also taking new patients. However, you may also be assigned to a provider whose office is difficult to get to from your home or work. If you call your health plan, they may be able to give you a list of the providers in your area [...]