MA Health Connector Ready for Open Enrollment
Friday, September 14, 2018
GoLocalWorcester News Team
The Massachusetts Health Connector Board of Directors approved 57 Qualified Health Plans from nine carriers for individuals and families, with new plan designs that create better value for members and premium increases that average under 5 percent from 2018.
“Through expanded plan offerings and an overall commitment to making health insurance more affordable, we are confident our members will have an Open Enrollment shopping experience that provides valuable options. One of the reasons Massachusetts remains the national leader in health care access, with 97 percent of our residents covered, is because of the great work our Navigator organizations do reaching out to their communities and sitting down directly with their clients and ensuring they have strong health insurance,” said Louis Gutierrez, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector.
Finalizing the carriers and plans, and selecting Navigator organizations, are part of the process of preparing for Open Enrollment. 2019 Open Enrollment starts November 1 and runs through January 23, 2019, and is the time when anyone without health insurance can sign up for coverage, and people with existing coverage can make changes for the New Year.
Moving forward into 2019 Open Enrollment, the plans approved today include a new category of plans, called “Low Gold” in the Health Connector’s metallic tier ordering of plans. The new plans generally offer richer benefits than Silver plans, but in some cases may have lower premiums. The Health Connector also will make changes to its ConnectorCare plan structure to improve program stability and make more plans affordable for members. In almost every part of the state ConnectorCare members will have at least two options at the lowest cost in each Plan Type.
Small business owners will experience the same premium changes as the individual market. In November 2017, the new Health Connector for Business platform launched, providing small businesses a new way to compare and shop for health insurance, while also providing options for employees to pick their own plans.