To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the staff of Advocacy for Access and Community Health Programs. In a two-day period they, along with counselors from across the state, came to North Adams and assisted Ecu-Health Care by helping over 90 former North Adams Regional Hospital employees apply for needed and timely health insurance. Their passion, commitment, and experience was evident as they helped individuals apply for the health insurance programs for which they will now be eligible.

All Berkshire County residents should be aware, that while the well-publicized national open enrollment period for health insurance ended on March 31, if you are applying for coverage with help paying for costs -- including ConnectorCare: https://bettermahealthconnector.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ConnectorCare_Overview.pdf, MassHealth, Children's Medical Security Plan (CMSP), or Health Safety Net -- you can apply at any time during the year. If you are determined eligible for one of these programs, you will not have to wait until next year's open enrollment period to enroll. There are also special enrollment periods when Massachusetts residents, not eligible for help, can apply for coverage, these enrollments period are listed on: bettermahealthconnector.org/special-enrollment-period.


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For assistance and further information, I strongly encourage Berkshire County residents to contact Advocacy for Access, Community Health Programs, or Ecu-Health Care, which has not been affected by the recent closing of North Adams Regional Hospital.

CHARLES JOFFE-HALPERN

North Adams

The writer is executive director, Ecu-Health Care, Inc.