Open Enrollment through the Massachusetts Health Connector started on November 1, 2020, and will end on January 23, 2021. Open enrollment is the time of year where consumers can sign up for a new health insurance plan or change their current plan through the Health Connector or private insurance carrier, without requiring a “qualifying event,” which is defined as changes in household size (such as getting married, divorced, having a child, etc.), income, or oss of current insurance.
If a resident of Massachusetts misses the opportunity to apply for coverage or change their health care plan before the end of open enrollment, that person may not be able to sign up for health insurance until the next year’s open enrollment. However, low- and middle-income families may be eligible for health care programs such as MassHealth, Health Safety Net, or ConnectorCare, which accept applications at any time during the year.
Signing up for health insurance may seem daunting. That is why enrollment assisters and navigators can be of great help to fill out the application and provide guidance about how to submit any additional documentation. The Health Care For All (HCFA) HelpLine is a multilingual resource that assists thousands of callers a year who want to understand their health coverage options in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Consumers who call 800-272-4232 can find answers to any questions related to the enrollment process, available plans, or other queries relating to insurance.
HCFA also hosts a couple of in-person events to help people apply during open enrollment every year. This year the enrollment events are being held remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic. HCFA hosted the first enrollment session on Saturday, November 21st, and dozens of people were able to sign up for coverage through the HelpLine phone number, as well as ‘face-to-face’ via Zoom. Another similar event is being planned for January before the enrollment period ends and more information will be shared once details are ironed.
Applying for health insurance is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is no better time than now to ensure Massachusetts residents have access to the coverage and care they need.
An FAQ on open enrollment is available here: https://hcfama.org/open-enrollment-faqs/
The Health Care For All HelpLine can be reached here: 1-800-272-4232
The application can be filled out in English and Spanish on the Massachusetts Health Connector website: https://www.mahealthconnector.org/