Massachusetts: @HealthConnector extends Open Enrollment thru March 23 due to ongoing #COVID19 pandemic

This just in via the MA Health Connector...

January 22, 2021 – The Massachusetts Health Connector announced today it is continuing Open Enrollment until March 23, providing additional time for state residents to access affordable, quality health insurance, particularly those hurt by the economic impacts of COVID-19.

With Massachusetts just having become the 3rd state where COVID-19 has killed more than 1 out of 500 residents, this isn't surprising (New York announced an Open Enrollment extension thru the end of March yesterday; New Jersey is still set to end theirs as of January 31st as of this writing Maryland, where COVID has "only" killed 1 out of 900, is extending theirs thru March 15th).

With Open Enrollment ongoing, Massachusetts residents who do not have health insurance have a new opportunity to get coverage through the Health Connector. This includes commercial plans through the ConnectorCare program, which provides help paying monthly premiums, and also offers low co-pays and no deductibles.

“Having health insurance means having the peace of mind that if sick or injured, access to health care and services is readily available,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “Hopefully those who don’t have coverage can take advantage of this opportunity to enroll and enjoy that peace of mind that comes with being insured.”

Along with people who do not have health insurance, people who are currently in COBRA coverage after losing their jobs can switch to a Health Connector plan during this period. For people who are current paying full premiums for COBRA plans, qualifying for ConnectorCare would represent significant savings. It is likely that for COBRA participants could also find lower-cost plans available without subsidy.

Many people need help applying for coverage or picking plan, and the Health Connector has 18 Navigator organizations available around the state, many with newly added capacity – including evening and weekend hours – to help those with questions. People who need help can find a local Navigator. Tens of thousands of Health Connector members applicants are staying covered or getting covered during Open Enrollment, and people are encouraged to reach out to a Navigator as soon as possible to get the support needed to get coverage.

About the Massachusetts Health Connector

The Massachusetts Health Connector is the Commonwealth’s health insurance exchange, and currently serves more than 300,000 individuals and small-employer members with health and dental insurance. Massachusetts residents who do not have health insurance from an employer or other entity can use the exchange to gain coverage. Through the ConnectorCare program, income-qualifying residents can access coverage that includes low-cost premiums and co-pays, and no deductibles. Access to health coverage for individuals and small businesses can be found at the Health Connector’s website, MAhealthconnector.org.