State prepares new Health Connector website; New deadlines to re-enroll

Open enrollment begins November 15th, but individual's deadlines to enroll may vary.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Massachusetts is now preparing a new website to accommodate hundreds of thousands of people who need to re-enroll in the state’s health insurance marketplace.

When you log onto the state’s Health Connector website right now, you will still see the old version, but representatives from the Health Connector told 22News that they are confident by start of the enrollment period, on November 15th, the new version will be up and running and glitch-free.

Jason Lefferts, spokesman for the Health Connector, told 22News that in last year’s enrollment period, the state’s system for subsidized plan enrollments needed to shift from a paper one to an electronic one so that it lined up with the newly instated Affordable Care Act requirements. With that came glitches in figuring out who was eligible for what plan.

Now, the state’s system is using a new software system, by hCentive. Lefferts said the software proved successful in several other states during the last enrollment period, and has been modified to meet Massachusetts’ needs.

Health insurance enrollment experts at Health New England, in Springfield, told 22News that the test runs they’ve seen so far are showing improvements.

“It’s going reasonably well. We are still in the testing phase, so there are still things being worked out, but I’m not getting the same sense of concern that we had last year at this time,” Elin Gaynor, Assistant General Counsel at Health New England, said.

Open enrollment begins November 15, but individuals’ deadlines to enroll may vary.

A total of 285,000 people who currently have temporary coverage will need to re-enroll, but a proposal is in the state’s hands to do that enrollment in three waves, with three different deadlines– Jan. 15th for wave one, Jan. 31st for wave two, and Feb. 15th for wave three.

For those of you currently enrolled in a non-subsidized Affordable Care Act Plan, your deadline to re-enroll is by the end of this year, December 31st. Missing that deadline will cause you to have a gap in your coverage.

The Massachusetts Health Connector is launching a major outreach campaign to get in touch with all that need to re-enroll this fall.  They urge you to pay close attention to any mail or phone calls you get from the Health Connector, as they will have step-by-step instructions on what you need to do next.

They also urge members who are re-enrolling to make your preparations now to re-enroll, but to not do anything electronically until the new website is up and running on November 15th.  Putting your information into the current website will only slow your process down.

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