Sánchez, Malia Kick Off Health Connector Open Enrollment with ‘Hidden Gem’ Event at Tres Gatos

Representative Jeffrey Sánchez (D-Jamaica Plain) and Representative Liz Malia (D-Jamaica Plain) recently welcomed the Massachusetts Health Connector to Tres Gatos in Jamaica Plain as it concluded its “Hidden Gems” tour. The one-day, statewide tour traversed Massachusetts to show off outstanding local gems and discuss the benefits of getting health insurance through the Health Connector.

David Doyle (owner, Tres Gatos, Centre Street Cafe and Casa Verde), Rep. Liz Malia, Louis Gutierrez (Health Connector executive director), Hilani Morales (City of Boston Health and Human Services) and Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez pose for a photo at Tres Gatos.

Courtesy Photo

David Doyle (owner, Tres Gatos, Centre Street Cafe and Casa Verde), Rep. Liz Malia, Louis Gutierrez (Health Connector executive director), Hilani Morales (City of Boston Health and Human Services) and Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez pose for a photo at Tres Gatos.

Open Enrollment started Nov. 1 and is the time of year when anyone without health insurance can get coverage. It is also the time when current Health Connector members can shop for new coverage for 2017, making sure they have a plan that meets their health needs while also being as affordable as possible.

“While there is a lot of discussion about health insurance among policymakers, the people who depend on it in our neighborhoods may not know how to sign up or shop for new plans,” said Rep. Sánchez, House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. “Events like this ensure we’re doing everything we can to reach out to our communities and put a face to the millions of people who need coverage.”

Tres Gatos, the only record store/book store/restaurant in Boston, is a unique space and gem in the neighborhood. In between tapas, Health Connector Executive Director Louis Gutierrez talked about the hidden gems that can be found through the state health insurance exchange. Hilani Morales from the City of Boston and Beth Baker from the Boston Public Health Commission joined Tres Gatos owner David Doyle to make these announcements.

“My hope is that folks closely consider their health plan options because many have changed. During open enrollment, the Health Connector call center at 1-877-MA-ENROLL (1-877-623-6765) has extended business hours and help in all languages. If you’re having any difficulties, as always, please call our offices,” said Rep. Malia, House Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

Enrollment runs Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, 2017. For those who want coverage starting Jan. 1, they need to apply, pick a plan, and make a payment by Dec. 23. The best way to fill out an application is to go to MAhealthconnector.org, which has details on documentation and information needed to complete an application and an online system that lets an applicant know immediately what program they qualify for, along with any subsidies. The website includes a provider search and plan comparison tools, which gives applicants and members the ability to find doctors in a particular plan and see what plan best meets their needs.

For those who need assistance filling out an application, help is available through a network of walk-in centers, navigators, and certified application councilors across the state. Members and applicants can find a local assister through the Health Connector website.