For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
Media Contact:
Karissa Hand
Cell: 508-406-8186
As federal unemployment benefits expire, affordable coverage remains available through the Health Connector outside of Open Enrollment
BOSTON – Health Care For All, the leading consumer health advocacy organization in Massachusetts, is today reminding residents that they might still be eligible to apply for low-cost health insurance coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector, even though the Open Enrollment period has ended. This is particularly important information for residents who might be losing their federal unemployment benefits and/or no-cost health insurance through COBRA in September.
“As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to ensure that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care. Unfortunately, at the same time, many Massachusetts families are experiencing economic distress, which is compounded by the impending expiration of federal unemployment benefits,” said Amy Rosenthal, Executive Director of Health Care For All. “It is critical that Massachusetts residents know that they might qualify for low-cost health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector, even outside of the Open Enrollment period. We urge the public to apply if they think they might be eligible and to call our HelpLine at 800-272-4232 for additional assistance.”
In order to be eligible to apply through the Health Connector at any time, an individual must:
  • Have a household income that is at 300% of the Federal Poverty Level ($79,500 for a family of four) or lower and/or received unemployment benefits in 2021
  • Have not previously applied through the Health Connector and experienced a qualifying life change in the past 60 days
  • Live in Massachusetts
  • Be a US Citizen, National, or lawfully present immigrant in the United States (including Lawful Permanent Residents and people with Temporary Protected Status or TPS)
  • Not have access to an employer’s affordable, comprehensive health insurance (including plans you are offered, but are not enrolled in)
  • Not be in jail or prison
  • Not qualify for Medicare, MassHealth (Medicaid) or other public health insurance programs
Individuals who have a qualifying life event, such as losing health insurance coverage or moving, are also eligible to apply through the Health Connector outside of the open enrollment period; however, they must apply within 60 days of the event and may have to provide supporting documents to verify the date.
Additionally, under the American Rescue Plan Act, hundreds of thousands of people using the Massachusetts Health Connector are now eligible for expanded subsidies to help lower their health insurance costs. New applicants should answer “yes” to the application question about whether they need financial assistance. Current recipients will need to complete an application for financial help. Those who have already applied for financial help do not need to take any further action. More information can be found here.
Health Care For All is requesting the help of the media, public officials and the public to spread the word that Massachusetts residents do not need to wait to apply for health insurance and assistance if they qualify. Please visit or call Health Care For All’s HelpLine at 800-272-4232 to learn more or get help applying for health coverage.