Press Release

Reminder: Massachusetts Health Connector Deadline for January 2018 Coverage is Dec. 23

BOSTON – December 11, 2017 – Massachusetts residents who want health insurance have until Dec. 23 to sign up for coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector, which holds Open Enrollment longer than the federal government. While the deadline for states that use the federal Healthcare.gov portal is Friday, Dec. 15, since Massachusetts is a state-based exchange, the Health Connector uses different deadlines. For people who want to start the new year with health insurance or change their plan for 2018, the deadline to select and pay for the plan is Saturday, Dec. 23. Residents seeking 2018 coverage can go to MAhealthconnector.org to apply and pick a plan. “December 23 is our most important deadline of the year, as new applicants get into coverage and our current members review their plan status for 2018, and it’s important that people know that they have more time in Massachusetts beyond the federal deadline,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “We understand how important it is to have health insurance – for people to be able to go to the doctor and have it cost them less to be healthy – and we want to extend to them every opportunity to sign up.” Throughout Open Enrollment, the Health Connector is providing full outreach and support services to Massachusetts residents as it has in past years. This includes an Open Enrollment period that runs through Jan. 23, 2018 (for coverage starting in February 2018), fully supporting 16 Navigator organizations throughout [...]

Massachusetts Health Connector Members and New Applicants Take Early Action at Start of 2018 Open Enrollment

BOSTON – November 20, 2017 – With a stable system and user process complemented by a proactive outreach and education effort, the Massachusetts Health Connector has seen members and new applicants more active in the first two weeks of Open Enrollment compared to last year. Through Nov. 15, plans selected and enrollments are more than 40 percent higher than last year at the same time, new program determinations for Health Connector are up nearly 70 percent, and plans selected and enrollments by new members are up more than 15 percent. “It is encouraging to see people hearing our message to shop for new coverage, and taking early advantage of Open Enrollment and finding the plan that best fits their needs for the new year,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “We hope all of our current members take time to review their coverage for next year, and people who don’t currently have health insurance sign up so they have the health and financial security that comes with having coverage next year.” In the first 15 days of Open Enrollment, 26,343 people selected a plan or enrolled by paying their first premium for 2018, compared to 18,695 in the first 15 days of last year’s Open Enrollment. Of those plan selections and enrollments, 7,219 people are getting new coverage through the Health Connector, compared to 6,200 last year. So far in the first 15 days of Open Enrollment, 15,713 new people were determined eligible for Health [...]

Baker-Polito Administration Secures Additional Year of Flexibility to Maintain Health Insurance Market Stability for Small Businesses

BOSTON – November 13, 2018 – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced it has secured from the U.S. Department of Human Services the flexibility to extend another year the existing use of small group rating factors to hold down premium increases and maintain stability in the market for small employers. The rating factors are permitted under state law, but are not aligned with requirements under federal law. Through a series of requests to the federal government, the Commonwealth has been able to maintain those state rating factors in order to avoid market disruption and maintain premium consistency for small employers. “We thank our federal partners for authorizing the continued use of state rating factors to provide stability and stabilize premium costs for small businesses in Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With this important flexibility in place, we can continue to provide predictability to the market and continue to make health insurance more affordable to companies and their employees.” Massachusetts received a waiver in 2013 to allow a gradual transition to full compliance with the Affordable Care Act, and the waiver recognized the success of Massachusetts’ state health reform law passed in 2006 in expanding coverage. Massachusetts has the highest insured rate in the nation, with 97.5 percent of residents covered, an achievement supported by the latitude to continue some state insurance practices, such as rating factors permitted under state law. These state rating factors offer insurers greater flexibility to price insurance plans according to the traditional practices of the Massachusetts market, [...]

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017|Tags: , |

Health Connector Starts Open Enrollment 2018 With Full Range of Outreach and Support Activities

BOSTON – November 1, 2017 – The Massachusetts Health Connector starts Open Enrollment 2018 today, providing members and new applicants the opportunity to pick a health insurance plan for the New Year, and officially kicking off a full-scale, statewide outreach and education campaign. Massachusetts has the highest insured rate in the country, with 97.5 percent of the state’s residents covered according to the U.S. Census. The lead up to Open Enrollment has created national concern about outreach activities, particularly in states that are part of the federal government Exchange. Consistent with the Commonwealth’s mission to support access to affordable health coverage for everyone, the campaign emphasizes outreach and visibility in communities with higher uninsured rates. “Massachusetts is a leader in coverage and we remain committed to reaching everyone and providing access to health care to everyone,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “Through our Navigators, community-based outreach, enrollment events and other methods, we are bringing the same energy to Open Enrollment as we have in past years.” Open Enrollment starts on Nov. 1, and runs through Jan. 23, 2018, longer than the Nov. 1-Dec. 15 federal deadline, and is consistent with past Massachusetts Open Enrollment periods. The Health Connector is planning a number of other outreach and enrollment support activities this year that mirrors the Exchange’s past commitment to comprehensive Open Enrollment activities. The Health Connector will fully fund the second year of its two-year grant cycle commitment to Navigators, supporting 16 agencies across the [...]

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017|

Massachusetts Health Connector Launches First Phase Of New Small-Business Online Portal

BOSTON – August 15, 2017 – The Massachusetts Health Connector today launched the first phase of its new small-group website, creating a system that will make it easier for employers and brokers to manage information and plans, and for employees to select coverage. Health Connector for Business will deliver new tools and benefits to brokers, employers and employees, making it easier to manage a company’s health insurance offering and delivering new options to businesses and employees. “We are pleased with the successful launch of the first phase of the Health Connector for Business website, and look forward to adding additional choices between carriers this November,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “We are excited by the benefits and opportunity the new platform will deliver to our current participating companies, and those that come on board next year.” The new platform was developed through a unique partnership with the Washington, D.C., Health Benefit Exchange Authority, the health insurance Exchange in Washington, D.C. Through this partnership, the Health Connector uses a separate branch of the DC Health Link’s existing online platform to improve offering to small businesses and their employees, while reducing long-term operational costs for the small-group online system. The first phase launched today includes access to plans from three carriers, Boston Medical Center Health Plan, Fallon Community Health Plan and Health New England. Businesses renewing coverage this fall will transfer to the new system, and new groups can use the system to select plans from [...]

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017|

Massachusetts Health Connector and DC Health Link Create a First-in-the-Nation Partnership

The Health Connector Board of Directors today approved a first-in-the-nation collaboration with DCHBX, which manages and operates DC Health Link, the online health insurance marketplace in the District of Columbia. Through this partnership, starting this fall the Health Connector will use a separate branch of DC Health Link’s existing online platform to improve available offerings to small businesses and their employees – including the ability for employees to potentially select their own plan from a range of choices – while reducing long-term operational costs for the small-group online system.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017|

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|

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|

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|