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Thousands in MA Can Still Get Covered – Big Push in Hispanic Communities

PHOTO: Special enrollment is still available for thousands in the Bay State to get care under the Affordable Care Act, but they need to act soon. Courtesy: Health Care For All
PHOTO: Special enrollment is still available for thousands in the Bay State to get care under the Affordable Care Act, but they need to act soon. Courtesy: Health Care For All
March 23, 2015

BOSTON - It's true the door shut on the second open enrollment period for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but advocates say there are still opportunities for thousands in the Bay State to get covered. Senior policy analyst at Health Care For All Suzanne Curry says special enrollment is still available for many folks who for one reason or the other missed the deadline, or for those who recently lost coverage.

"When your coverage ends you have 60 days in order to get through the process of applying and selecting a plan," says Curry. "If for whatever reason you became uninsured or if you are uninsured now is a good time to go in and get coverage."

Special enrollment can be done on-line, by phone and even by stopping by your nearest community health center.

María González communications director with Health Care For All says they are reaching out in both Spanish and Portuguese in communities like Worcester and Lawrence, where a significant percentage of Hispanic residents missed the open enrollment deadline.

"We have a high concentration of people from Puerto Rico, high concentration of people from the Dominican Republic," says González. "They might not understand what it takes or that they can actually lose coverage a lot of these people have lost coverage already."

At the Massachusetts Health Connector, director of communications, Commonwealth Health Connector Jason Lefferts says many people can still get coverage by spending a couple minutes on-line.

"The best and easiest way is to go to the website, which is mahealthconector.org," says Lefferts. "They fill out one application and find out right away if they belong to Mass health or the Health Connector."

Lefferts says they want to prevent situations where uncovered people don't go to the doctor or end up in an emergency with a big bill. Help by phone is available at 877-623-6765.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA