Massachusetts residents who want health insurance have until Dec. 23 to sign up for coverage through the Massachusetts Health Connector, which holds Open Enrollment longer than the federal government.
While the deadline for states that use the federal Healthcare.gov portal is Friday, Dec. 15, since Massachusetts is a state-based exchange, the Health Connector uses different deadlines. For people who want to start the new year with health insurance or change their plan for 2018, the deadline to select and pay for the plan is Saturday, Dec. 23. Residents seeking 2018 coverage can go to MAhealthconnector.org to apply and pick a plan.
“December 23 is our most important deadline of the year, as new applicants get into coverage and our current members review their plan status for 2018, and it’s important that people know that they have more time in Massachusetts beyond the federal deadline,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector. “We understand how important it is to have health insurance – for people to be able to go to the doctor and have it cost them less to be healthy – and we want to extend to them every opportunity to sign up.”
Throughout Open Enrollment, the Health Connector is providing full outreach and support services to Massachusetts residents as it has in past years. This includes an Open Enrollment period that runs through Jan. 23, 2018 (for coverage starting in February 2018), fully supporting 16 Navigator organizations throughout the state who provide enrollment assistance, a continued statewide community outreach effort that includes posting more than 1,000 signs and handing out 20,000 information cards through Open Enrollment, full staffing of customer service and improving IT systems to make the enrollment process easier.
Open Enrollment started on Nov. 1, and as of Dec. 8, 260,551 people had selected or paid for a 2018 plan. This is a 5 percent increase from Open Enrollment 2017, and includes members whose current coverage has been automatically renewed for 2018. New activity – including plans selected and paid coverage – are similar to 2017 Open Enrollment. Through Dec. 3, 27,948 people who did not previously have Health Connector coverage have picked a plan or enrolled in 2018 coverage.
The Health Connector currently serves more than 250,000 individuals with health insurance, and another 6,000 who get their health insurance through their employer via Health Connector for Business. About 73,000 people receive dental insurance through the Exchange. New applicants and renewing members can go to the Health Connector’s website,MAhealthconnector.org, to secure coverage.