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Caring Health Center to begin open enrollment on Nov. 15

Nov. 13, 2014 | G. Michael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD – If you don’t have health insurance or if you have questions about coverage of your current policy, now is the time to contact Caring Health Center.

Open enrollment for the state’s Health Connector coverage begins Nov. 15, according to Heather Goodhind, Caring Health Center navigator. Goodhind and her staff will help people apply for coverage and answer questions about existing coverage.

Last year Caring Health Center assisted 25,000 people though the Navigator program, Jacqueline Johnson, the COO of the health center said.

Goodhind said, “We can serve anyone who comes in who needs help.” The health center is one of 15 navigators across the state.

Although a substantial number of Massachusetts residents have acquired health insurance, Goodhind said one group is still a concern: young men.

The Commonwealth’s online marketplace will re-launch on Nov. 15 and Goodhind said it has been tested and works well.

“We really excited for the new system,” she said.

Even if a person has health insurance, Goodhind said the coverage can be evaluated to seek out the most affordable plan with the best features.

Johnson said, “What people should know is that we’re available.”

She advised that anyone with questions should call 739-1100 to make an appointment and to find out what documents they will need.

Although the open enrollment period starts Nov. 15, Johnson noted Caring Health Center can help people through the year.

According to information supplied by the Health Connector, there are 400,000 people in the Health Connector programs as well as temporary Medicaid coverage. To make sure there is no disruption in coverage, they must submit new applications.

“Our number one goal this Open Enrollment is to ensure our current members are able to transition without a gap in overage by submitting a new application. The good news is we expect to have a working online system that will make applying easier than before,” Jean Yang, executive director of the Health Connector said. “We have great help available across the state through organizations such as the like Caring Health Center, which can sit down with members and help them in their own language complete and application, find out if they qualify for help paying for insurance and pick the best plan for them and their families.” 

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