Tour rolls before open enrollment

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From left: Hanoi Reyes of Archipelago Strategies Group; Sarah Kuh of Vineyard Health Care Access; Jason Lefferts of Health Connector; Mary Leddy, Maria Mouzinho, Vani Pessoni, and Ayisha Houtman. — Courtesy Jasmine Lopez Calderon

Massachusetts Health Connector (MHC), a state-based health insurance company, rolled its statewide tour through Martha’s Vineyard last Thursday to meet with residents and community leaders ahead of open enrollment, the yearly period when people can enroll for health insurance, which starts on Nov. 1.

Stopping in Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown, MHC worked to engage with commuters and local businesses before the start of open enrollment, which begins Thursday and ends on Dec. 15. Health Connector has also been promoting a #StayCovered campaign to remind Massachusetts residents to stay insured through the state’s individual mandate.

“Massachusetts is a leader in healthcare access and affordability because throughout the Commonwealth people recognize the need and importance of having health insurance, and financial and health benefits that come with being covered,” Louis Gutierrez, the executive director of the Massachusetts Health Connector, said in a press release. “Throughout open enrollment we will provide a stable experience to people who are signing up for coverage, while also making sure people who already have health insurance maintain coverage in 2019.”

Sara Kuh, director of Vineyard Health Care Access (VHCA), a Dukes County program that connects Island residents with health benefits, told The Times she was excited about the Health Connector tour. “Part of our jobs is to walk people through their plans,” she said. VHCA serves more than 2,500 Islanders each year.

“We want everyone to have health insurance and have people have access to a doctor when they need it,” Jason Lefferts, a spokesman for Health Connector, told The Times.

People can go to mahealthconnector.org for more information or to find and compare health insurance plans, or they can visit mvhealthcareaccess.org to get help signing up.