State’s new health insurance campaign to cost millions

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)-  Michael Bossman of Springfield told 22News that health insurance is a vital part of his life.

“You can’t predict even the next minute and so there is a need for you to have health insurance,” he said.

It’s a sentiment shared by the state as they launch a new effort to tell residents who currently have temporary health insurance through the state’s Health Connector marketplace that they need to reapply for coverage this fall. Here’s why: when nation-wide health insurance reform went into effect, the state’s website experienced problems and forced thousands of Massachusetts residents to only get temporary coverage.

If you were one of those people, you now need to reapply for coverage starting November 15. You must do so before December 31, or you will have a gap in coverage; something that made some Springfield residents uneasy.

“If I didn’t have my health insurance, I wouldn’t be able to take care of myself the way I need to, and support my family and stuff like that. So, it is a necessity for me to have that,” Brenda Soto, from Springfield, said.

22News reached out to representatives of the Health Connector Agency at their headquarters in Boston and they explained that part of their plan includes coming into neighborhoods and knocking on about 200,000 residents’ front doors. They will also make about two million automated phone calls, send reminders through the mail, buy print and broadcast advertisements, hold community meetings, and enrollment fairs.

Health Connector Spokesperson Jeff Leffets told 22News all that comes to a grand total of somewhere between $15 and 19 million dollars; a cost they plan on asking the federal government to cover.

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