Get Covered, Stay Covered: It's Open Enrollment Time

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Community Health Programs is offering in-person assistance during the Massachusetts Health Connector's open enrollment period, which began Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 23, 2019.

"Health insurance renewal is not automatic for people covered through the MAHealthConnector, and you still need to review if your current medical plan is adequate or your circumstances have changed," said Octavio Hernandez, senior enrollment specialist at CHP Great Barrington Health Center. "And anyone seeking help to purchase medical insurance for the first time should get the process started in November."

CHP enrollment specialists can assist income-eligible residents who are renewing their insurance and those who are applying for first-time coverage. CHP specialists are available to assist anyone, not only CHP patients.

Income-eligible people who do not have insurance through an employer must apply for private health insurance through the Health Connector program. ConnectorCare's plans are subsidized by both federal and state government.

Residents whose income is very low are typically covered by MassHealth and are not subject to this open enrollment season or penalties.

Higher-income people without workplace insurance are also required to purchase a health plan or face a penalty.

Applicants have the option of renewing or enrolling online at However, for those in need of assistance, help is available at some of CHP's medical practice locations in Berkshire County. For an appointment, contact CHP Great Barrington Health Center at 413-528-8580 or CHP Neighborhood Health Center in Pittsfield at 413-447-2351.

For more information on applying or re-applying for private insurance through MAHealth Connector, go online.


Tags: CHP,   health insurance,   

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Berkshire Workforce Board Hires Second Career Readiness Coordinator

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Responsible for overseeing employment and training services in the region, the MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board recently hired a South County career readiness coordinator; a position that is funded by the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.

Ruthann Eagen will be responsible for assisting the Berkshire Workforce Board youth director with coordinating strategies to further enhance career readiness systems and programming within the public school systems in Southern Berkshire County. She will also assist with the development of a South County College and Career Advisory Team and individual school district teams with the goal for every student to graduate with a completed college and career plan.  

As a youth, Eagen was a member of the Nassau County Law Enforcement Career Exploring Program through the Nassau County Police Department in Long Island, N.Y., and as an adult volunteered for the same program. She looks forward to bringing her career exploring experience to her new role.

Eagen was previously the senior district executive for the Appalachian Trail District of the Western Massachusetts Council, Boy Scouts of America. She received her masters of science in human services and leadership in 2017 from Saint Joseph's College, Patchogue, N.Y., and her bachelor's of science in criminology in 2014 from State University of New York (SUNY) Old Westbury.  She also holds a business administration certificate from Nassau Community College, Garden City, N.Y.

Eagen can be reached at 413-442-7177, ext. 144, or by email.

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