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Insurance Helpline Ringing Out the Year in MA

December 24, 2008

Boston, MA – More than 1,100 calls in one week - and counting. Record numbers of Bay Staters are ringing out the old year with calls to the Health Care for All Helpline with questions about state health coverage.

The Helpline is part of the state law mandating insurance, and Helpline manager Kate Bicego says it's an important consumer resource to guide people through the insurance process.

"A lot of times, we're looking to insure people who have never been insured, or have never been insured through a public health insurance system."

The Helpline normally averages about 850 calls a week.

The high call volume is happening, according to Bicego, in part because the state is re-determining eligibility for state coverage plans, and the paperwork is new to many.

"They're wondering, what the heck is this form, how do I fill out the form, what do I need to send along with the form, and can I keep my coverage?"

Counselors speak English, Spanish and Portuguese. The toll-free number is 800-272-4232.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - MA