The Massachusetts Health Connector Board of Directors voted on Thursday, May 11, to ensure that health insurance plans used by five million Commonwealth residents to meet the state’s individual mandate continue to deliver high-value preventive services at no cost to consumers. This vote follows a March 2023 decision by a federal District Court in Texas to limit the scope of preventive services covered under the Affordable Care Act.
The proposed regulation amendments guarantee that Massachusetts residents with health insurance plans meeting state Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC) standards will continue to receive key preventive services like cancer screenings, HIV prevention, and cholesterol-lowering medication without cost-sharing. These proposed regulation amendments protect coverage standards that are current practice in the Commonwealth.
Mazel Tov to Audrey Morse Gasteier, who I know via online discussions & have met a couple of times in person at the annual Families USA conference. I'm sure she'll continue to do a great job:
BOSTON — Audrey Morse Gasteier, who has served as a policy leader at the Massachusetts Health Connector for more than a decade, was named executive director of the state-based Marketplace today by Secretary of Health and Human Services and Health Connector Board Chair Kate Walsh.
Morse Gasteier had been serving as acting executive director since January.
“Since its establishment in 2006, the Health Connector has been where Massachusetts residents can find affordable health care,” said Secretary Walsh. “Audrey has been a key part of that important work for many years, and I look forward to working with her as we continue to make health care coverage accessible to everyone in Massachusetts.”
November 1, 2022 – Starting today, people who need health insurance can get coverage that delivers high-quality, comprehensive benefits – including new $0 co-pays for some chronic illnesses – while also getting help paying for their coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector.
Open Enrollment runs through Jan. 23, 2023, with a deadline of Dec. 23 for people who want to start the New Year with coverage. The Health Connector is the only place where Massachusetts residents can access help paying for coverage, and all Health Connector plans meet state and federal standards, delivering the peace of mind that comes with having usable, affordable health insurance. Adult residents in Massachusetts are required to have health insurance coverage. People can find coverage at MAhealthconnector.org.
Starting in 2023, Health Connector coverage will include new benefits, protections, and reduced cost-sharing to advance health equity objectives. The Health Connector is among the leaders of state-based marketplaces in leveraging its plan certification process to explicitly advance and invest in targeted health equity priorities.
Informed by state and national health policy research and data, and stakeholder engagement, Health Connector staff identified health equity concerns in the health coverage landscape and designed its 2023 Seal of Approval plan certification process to advance objectives tailored to address those equity issues.
Simple Sign-up health insurance enrollment is as easy as checking a box on the state tax form
New program will simplify sign up for coverage through the Health Connector
February 7, 2022 – Uninsured Massachusetts residents can check a box on their state tax forms to quickly start the process of getting health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector’s new Simple Sign-up program. The program will increase access to health insurance, and provide assistance signing up for coverage to thousands of residents.
Through the Simple Sign-up program, when checking the box on the tax form, individuals authorize the Department of Revenue to communicate select elements of the tax filer’s information with the Health Connector. The Health Connector will use this information to create and send tailored information to the tax filer, and to work with residents towards obtaining the most appropriate health plan.
This just in via the Massachusetts Health Connector (by email):
253,253 January effectuations
6,247 February and March effectuations
4,643 plan selections
264,143 total enrollments/plan selections
The above includes 22,729 new enrollments, which includes people who never had Health Connector coverage in the past, or who did, dropped exchange at some point, and have come back for 2022.
This is up around 2,000 since December 25th, but is still down over 10% from last year, making Massachusetts one of only 5 state exchanges to see QHP enrollment drop year over year (to be fair, there's still a few days left for MA as well as Kentucky, DC and New York. The fifth is Hawaii. Having said that, enrollments in the other four states only runs through anywhere from December 15th - December 25th, whereas MA's total is current through yesterday.
Nov. 1, 2021 – Open Enrollment for 2022 health insurance begins today at the Massachusetts Health Connector, with more opportunities for enrollees to find financial assistance with their monthly premiums.
Open Enrollment runs through Jan. 23, 2022, with a deadline to apply, pick a plan, and make a first premium payment by Dec. 23, for coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2022. Open Enrollment is the time when individuals without health insurance can find coverage through the Health Connector without a qualifying reason.
“Access to affordable health care for individuals and families in Massachusetts is vital,” said Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services and Chair of the Health Connector’s Board of Directors. “Massachusetts has the highest insured rate in the nation, and Open Enrollment offers individuals the opportunity to apply and choose a coverage plan that meets their needs and provides security for their health and wellbeing.”