Project leadership will brief public Thursday, Friday about website readiness, consumer outreach and command center monitoring going into first weekend of the Affordable Care Act’s 2015 Open Enrollment period
BOSTON – Wednesday, November 12, 2014 – Tomorrow, Maydad Cohen, the Governor’s Special Assistant for Project Delivery, and John Santelli, Chief Information Officer for Optum, the state’s Systems Integrator, will update the public on the launch of MAhealthconnector.org, the Commonwealth’s revamped health insurance Exchange website, during the Health Connector Board of Directors meeting. The system will go-live at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 15, allowing people who need coverage to sign up for the health and economic benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
Open Enrollment is the time when anyone can apply for health care. People who meet income eligibility requirements can get help paying for their coverage through the Health Connector or free coverage through MassHealth. During Open Enrollment, current Health Connector or temporary MassHealth members must submit a new application if they want to continue to receive their health insurance through the Commonwealth.
Important details are included below to help you report on the countdown and first several days of Open Enrollment. The media will play an important public service role in getting information out about who needs to take action to maintain their insurance, how the uninsured can sign up for the first time and ways to get help with the application process. Jason Lefferts (617-869-4894) and Kim Haberlin (617-470-9686) will be your primary points of contact and can assist with requests throughout the remainder of the week and weekend. Please RSVP to this email if you plan on covering the Friday briefing. We will respond with directions to the Massachusetts Operations Command Center.
WHO: Maydad Cohen
WHAT: Monthly Health Connector Board of Directors Meeting
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 13 at 9 a.m.
WHERE: One Ashburton Place, 21st Floor, Boston
WHY: Updates for the Board, public and media on why the website will work this Open Enrollment, how much user traffic it can support, the 24/7 command center-style monitoring that will identify and resolve any issues and firsthand accounts of people who will use the new system
WHO: Maydad Cohen
WHAT: Tour and briefing at Command Center
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 14 at 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: One Congress Street, First Floor, Boston
WHY: See the Massachusetts Operations Command Center – the central nervous system of the website and work base for more than 100 IT, policy and business operations staff the day before go-live. Project leadership will provide tour and final update on readiness.
What Consumers Can Do on MAhealthconnector.org
Beginning Saturday at 8 a.m., consumers will have faster, easier, better access to health security. Here is what the new website will allow consumers to do:
· Browse health plans anonymously
· Create a new account
· Complete an application online
· Find out what program they qualify for (MassHealth, subsidized coverage through the Health Connector or shopping in the commercial market through the Health Connector)
· Compare plans, including premiums, co-pays, benefits and other important details online
· Select a plan to purchase
· Pay premium
Where Consumers Can Get Help
The Commonwealth has a rich assister community to support consumers during the application and enrollment process. There are over 1,300 Certified Application Counselors (CACs) and 15 Navigator organizations across the state to provide free, in-person assistance. A list of local assisters can be found today at: https://bettermahealthconnector.org/get-help/ and, beginning November 15, at MAhealthconnector.org/help-center/
Additionally, customer service representatives for MassHealth and the Health Connector are prepared to answer consumers’ questions and assist them in completing their applications and enrolling in coverage. The call centers can be reached at:
Health Connector Customer Service
1-877-623-6765 (TTY: 1-877-623-7773)
Open during first weekend of Open Enrollment, on November 15 and 16, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
MassHealth Customer Service
1-800-841-2900 (TTY 1-800-497-4648)
Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Watch the Television Ad Campaign that Begins Airing Saturday
On Saturday, Nov. 15, the Commonwealth will begin airing television ads to advance our consumer education and public outreach efforts. The ad highlights the assisters available across the state who provide free enrollment and application support, and reminding people to take action during the 2015 Open Enrollment period between Nov. 15 and Feb. 15, 2015. The ad is attached for you to watch.