Press Release

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|

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|

Last Chance: Open Enrollment at the Massachusetts Health Connector Ends January 31

BOSTON – January 25, 2016 – Open Enrollment at the Massachusetts Health Connector, when anyone that needs health insurance can apply and potentially get access to financial help paying for coverage, ends on Jan. 31, and assistance applying is available throughout the state for those who still need health insurance. The Health Connector is the only way people in Massachusetts can access low cost health plans through the ConnectorCare program and federal advance premium tax credits. For those who apply and pick a plan by Jan. 31, their coverage will start on March 1. People that miss the deadline may be locked out of insurance until the next Open Enrollment period, and might face a tax penalty as a result. “During this Open Enrollment period, more than 30,000 people have signed up for new coverage through the Health Connector, and a vast majority are getting help paying for their monthly premiums,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “As we near the January 31 deadline, our walk-in centers and Navigators across the Commonwealth are still available to help people finish an application and pick the plan that best suits their needs.” The Health Connector’s ConnectorCare program offers eligible applicants plans with low premiums (many under $100), low co-pays, and no deductibles. The ConnectorCare program is open to individuals making up to $35,310, and families of four earning up to $72,750. Advance premium tax credits are available to people making up to $47,000, and families of four [...]

Monday, January 25th, 2016|

Massachusetts Health Connector Ombudsman Program Creates Additional Customer Service Avenue

BOSTON – September 28, 2015 – As it works to improve customer service and prepare for the next Open Enrollment period, the Massachusetts Health Connector announced the establishment of an Ombudsman Office effective today, which will give members an advocate to help resolve serious service issues. “The Health Connector continues to reshape and improve our Customer Service experience based primarily on feedback from our members,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Health Connector. “The goal is to have our members’ needs met each time they contact us. However, in those cases where members are highly dissatisfied and have exhausted regular service routes, ombudsmen will be available to serve as an advocate as we continue to correct an and improve service for our customers.” The program is in addition to the normal service communications and channels, and is not intended to circumvent the ability of member to get direct service at either walk-in centers around the state or from the call center. A member who needs intervention from the Ombudsman Office can contact the office through the “Contact” section of the Health Connector’s website, MAhealthconnector.org, or by mail at PO Box 960484, Boston, MA 02109-9997. To prepare for Open Enrollment, the Health Connector has made a series of improvements to both the online system and its customer service processes. The online system has improved with additional functionality that allows members to make account changes through the website, and a stronger payment system that eliminates the prospect of declined or [...]

Monday, September 28th, 2015|

Health Connector Announces Community Partners for 2015–16 through the Navigator Grant Program

BOSTON – Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015 – The Massachusetts Health Connector today announced the 14 community groups that will work as a Navigator to provide enrollment and renewal support to residents throughout the Commonwealth during Open Enrollment. As the Health Connector prepares for 2016 Open Enrollment, which starts on Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2016, it will work with Navigators to ensure outreach is penetrating communities with higher rates of uninsured residents and those without insurance are encouraged to apply for coverage. Navigators can also assist current members who have questions about coverage renewing Jan. 1, 2016. “Massachusetts is committed to making health care accessible and affordable to everyone, and we are going to use this upcoming Open Enrollment period to encourage those without health insurance to sign up,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “Our Navigator partners will play a very significant role on the ground in their communities, directly talking to the uninsured and working with them to complete their applications and enrollments.” Navigators are mandated by the Affordable Care Act, and are part of a network of assisters that include more than 1,300 Certified Assistance Councilors, which are predominantly at health-care provider locations. A full list of assisters can be found at the Health Connector’s website. Additionally, the Health Connector will be focusing public education messaging and outreach on communities identified as areas with higher uninsured rates in an effort to reach as many uninsured people as possible during Open [...]

Thursday, August 13th, 2015|