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 misdirected payments. When Open Enrollment starts, the website will also feature a provider search to help members find out if a plan includes their doctor, and a function that will allow side-by-side comparison of plans.
Customer service has been improved by reducing wait times from 20 minutes or more to less than 30 seconds, and reducing the call abandonment rate from 40 percent to less than 3 percent. To improve customer service going into Open Enrollment, additional agent training and call center management is in place, and staff and hours will expand (including evening, and Saturday and Sunday hours). Also, the Health Connector is opening walk-in centers in Springfield, Lowell, Brockton and Fall River, along with existing centers in Boston and Worcester, during Open Enrollment to give members options for assistance.
The Massachusetts Health Connector is the Commonwealth’s state-based Marketplace, the only place qualifying residents can find financial help accessing health insurance. There are more than 170,000 people in health coverage through the Health Connector. Residents can learn more about the Health Connector and accessing coverage at MAhealthconnector.org.