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March 23, 2020

COVID-19: Health Care Coverage Update

The coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) has many people concerned about health care costs, whether they have insurance or not in the first place.

The state government has ordered all Massachusetts insurers to cover the cost of COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccination (whenever a vaccine becomes available). Insurers may not charge co-pays or deductibles for COVID-19 related health care. If you have insurance, and you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, do not hesitate to seek medical help.

If you are uninsured or can no longer afford your private insurance and are looking for coverage:

  • The Massachusetts Health Connector has opened a special enrollment period. You can apply here until April 25th.
    • Health Connector is the state government’s health insurance marketplace – you can apply for MassHealth, and a wide range of private plans. They can also check if you qualify for public assistance with insurance costs through “ConnectorCare.”
  • For undocumented MA residents: you may be eligible for MassHealth Limited, based on your income. This program is designed specifically to cover emergency health care services for undocumented people. You can also apply for this program through the Health Connector here.
    • You CANNOT be turned away from an emergency room based on your immigration status.
    • The “public charge rule” does NOT apply to MassHealth Limited coverage. Using MassHealth will not affect your immigration status. For more information about when the public charge rule applies, click here.

If you already have publicly subsidized health coverage, but your income has changed:

If you are having trouble getting your health insurance provider to cover a claim, if you are facing debt collectors because of hospital bills, or if you need legal assistance for any other reason, email us a request for a lawyer (lrs@bostonbar.org) or be referred to a lawyer online instantly here.