12-21-15 Feature Story:
More than 500 trained and certified Enrollment Assisters at Massachusetts' community health centers continue to help the vast majority of eligible residents renew or secure ACA-compliant health coverage through the state's Health Connector or MassHealth program.
"The work of health center outreach and enrollment staff has once again made the difference in state efforts to ensure that eligible residents are able to apply for and maintain the health coverage that best fits their needs," said James. W. Hunt, Jr., President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers. "We are extremely proud of their expertise and commitment in making sure that Massachusetts remains at the forefront of providing health coverage to its residents."
In recognition of this ongoing leadership and success, the state's Health Connector has partnered with three Massachusetts health centers serving communities with higher than average rates of uninsured residents during the 2015-16 open enrollment period. These newly created "walk-in" centers are located at Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, HealthFirst Family Care Center in Fall River and Lowell Community Health Center. Since the start of open enrollment on November 1, the three walk-in sites have served over 1,300 Massachusetts residents seeking assistance with troubleshooting applications and in processing verifications and payments.
This year's open enrollment period is proceeding much more smoothly than last year's due in large part to system upgrades for MAHealthConnector.org and as a result of process improvements for applicants and assisters, including online provider search tools and enrollment forms for MassHealth members, and designated phone lines for assisters that allow them expedited contact with customer service support staff.
Health center assisters have been engaged in community outreach and education events since last November, targeting two primary groups: residents who remain uninsured and residents who have insurance but may qualify for lower-cost coverage.
In Massachusetts, the deadline for coverage beginning January 1, 2016 is December 23, 2015. Click here for more information on other coverage-related deadlines for 2016.