Need Health Insurance?
There are nearly 500 trained Enrollment Assisters, both Certified Application Counselors and Navigators, at Community Health Centers across Massachusetts, who can provide free in-person help applying for health coverage. Certified Application Counselors and Navigators can help you apply for coverage through the Health Connector (including ConnectorCare), MassHealth programs, answer your questions other programs and options for help paying for health coverage and help you get resources related to Medicare. Health center outreach staff speak dozens of languages and many Enrollment Assisters are bi/multilingual and bi/multicultural so can provide culturally-appropriate help - locate a health center near you here.
History of Health Reform & Outreach
Massachusetts health centers have played a critical role in health care reform - both in 2007 when the state launched a massive effort to enroll eligible residents into insurance plans created under the state's landmark health reform law, Chapter 58, as well as more recently in 2013, when health centers launched their own outreach and enrollment campaigns to transition Massachusetts residents to new coverage options under Affordable Care Act (ACA). In 2016 alone, Massachusetts health centers have provided assistance to over 180,000 individuals seeking coverage and helped some 50,000 residents enroll in a health plan. As of 2015, the Blue Cross Foundation reports that Massachusetts has the lowest uninsured rate in the country at 2.8%, though disparities throughout the state still exist. High-uninsurance communities, many of which are communities health centers serve, have uninsurance rates ranging from 6.6% - 18.8%. Health centers not only provide application assistance to their own patients but also have ongoing, innovative and community-centric outreach programming, at places like farmers markets, career centers, public libraries, schools and colleges, to help community members apply for and enroll in coverage and increase the ability for individuals and families to access care.
In 2017-2018, the MassHealth program is undergoing significant restructuring efforts, including the rollout of Accountable Care Organizations (ACO), which will be a new option for MassHealth members. ACOs are a group of doctors and other providers who work together to provide coordinated care for members to help address medical, behavioral and social health care needs. More information and updates can be found on MassHealth Innovations.
As millions of Americans begin to sign up for new health coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) starting October 1, 2013, Massachusetts health centers is launching their own outreach and enrollment campaigns to ensure a smooth transition for an estimated 295,000 state residents who are eligible for new or updated coverage. These residents include 100,000 individuals who are currently covered under the state's subsidized Commonwealth Care plans and who must re-enroll in updated subsidized plans; 100,000 Commonwealth Care subscribers who will be shifted into the state's Medicaid program as a result of expanded eligibility for that program; and 45,000 Massachusetts residents who newly qualify for state Medicaid coverage.