The Massachusetts Health Connector’s Open Enrollment period is going on now! Open Enrollment is held annually between November 1st and January 23rd. It offers existing members currently enrolled in private health insurance through the marketplace the opportunity to change their plan, even if they have not had a qualifying life event, such as getting married, having children or losing existing health care coverage. New applicants are also encouraged to apply for Health Connector coverage during this time as many will qualify for tax credits that lower coverage costs.
Please note that the federal marketplace, www.healthcare.gov, which serves many other states, has a different timeline for their Open Enrollment period. This is because Massachusetts’ state-based marketplace, the Health Connector, is able to set their own enrollment period. This Open Enrollment period on the Health Connector only applies to private health insurance through the marketplace. It does NOT apply to MassHealth or the Health Safety Net.
In order to get insurance beginning on January 1st, you must submit an application, enroll in a plan and pay your premium (if you have one) by December 23rd! We recommend that you take action now by visiting www.mahealthconnector.org before it gets lost in the holiday season shuffle.
It can be tough keeping track of which benefits you qualify for, all while monitoring the cost of your plan. Don’t worry! The Health Connector has you covered with a few resources that can help:
- The Health Connector Estimate Tool allows users to see the approximate cost of their health care plan.
- The Plan Finder Tool helps users see what providers, hospitals, health centers and prescription drugs are covered by specific plans through the Health Connector.
- The General Resource Guide offers users information about subsidies, ConnectorCare and insurance options for the Unemployed.
Additionally, tax credits that lower the monthly cost of coverage are available for health insurance applicants who meet specific criteria. However, in order to qualify for these tax credits, applicants must file taxes for 2023.
If you qualify for the ConnectorCare program based on the predetermined income guidelines, then you may apply for it at any time during the year. However, existing ConnectorCare members can only change the plan they are enrolled in during Open Enrollment.
Lastly, all existing Health Connector members must verify their information during Open Enrollment and ensure that their information, including household members as well as contact and income data, is up to date. Neglecting to update this information may invalidate your coverage!
You can check on the status of your application through one of three ways:
- Logging into your online account at mahealthconnector.org,
- Calling the Health Connector at (877)623-6765
- Contacting an enrollment assister, such as the HCFA HelpLine counselors. These professionals are available to help with the Open Enrollment process. You can call the HelpLine at 800-272-4232 from 7am-5pm Monday through Thursday and 9am-5pm on Friday. Counselors can answer any questions you may have in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole and French.
If you have additional questions about this process in the meantime, check out the Open Enrollment FAQ on the HCFA website.
Hannah Frigand is the Director of Education & Enrollment Services at Health Care For All.