By John Lynds
At the East Boston Branch Library last Wednesday the Massachusetts Health Connector hosted a regional launch of its ‘Open Enrollment’ multilingual outreach and education campaign. The program launched here is designed to reach remaining uninsured populations across the Commonwealth.
Dozens of Eastie residents turned out for the event and were able to sign up for health insurance.
“Data shows that ethnic populations in Massachusetts – particularly the Latino population – are less likely to have health insurance than the rest of the state,” said Executive Director of the Massachusetts Health Connector Louis Gutierrez. “The Health Connector’s access to affordable coverage is open to everyone during Open Enrollment, and we are using this ethnic media and community outreach campaign to communicate with residents in multiple languages.”
The event was held in collaboration with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), a certified navigator organization working with the Health Connector during open enrollment. Following the event, organizers hit the streets of Eastie visiting local businesses to discuss Open Enrollment.
“We are proud to partner with the Health Connector on this campaign, which explains how to get coverage at low-or no-cost during Open Enrollment,” said BPHC Executive Director Monica Valdes Lupi. “These efforts will help bring uninsured residents into local navigator organizations like BPHC, where our staff who speak various languages can
help uninsured residents navigate their options in the language that the residents use when seeking out care.”
At the event, Gutierrez unveiled two commercials that are now running in eight languages across 55 different ethnic media TV, radio, and print outlets. The messages will continue through the end of Open Enrollment, January 31, 2017.
The campaign also features a widespread, community-based, direct outreach effort. Organizers with language capacity will be active at more than 100 locations and events across Massachusetts, providing information to residents in need of assistance and collecting “pledge cards” for follow-up.
The Connector is also reaching out to dozens of community leaders and expanding relationships with people who have direct contact with priority communities.
“No matter what happens nationally with the new incoming administration we in the Massachusetts Legislature are committed to making sure every man woman and child in the Commonwealth has access to quality affordable health insurance,” said Sen. Joseph Boncore at the event.