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State officials offering health coverage to uninsured people worried about coronavirus

Massachusetts Health Connector beginning special enrollment period amid “growing public health threat”

A man in a mask walked through TD Garden/North Station. Massachusetts’s health insurance exchange is allowing people without insurance to sign up for coverage.
A man in a mask walked through TD Garden/North Station. Massachusetts’s health insurance exchange is allowing people without insurance to sign up for coverage.JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, Massachusetts’s health insurance exchange is allowing people without insurance to sign up for coverage.

Officials at the state Health Connector said they’re opening a special enrollment period, until April 25, for anyone who wants to make sure they’re covered in case they’re affected by coronavirus. Typically, the Connector only enrolls new members from November through January.

“The coronavirus represents a significant and growing public health threat, and the Massachusetts Health Connector is committed to making sure residents have access to testing, treatment and other related services as necessary,” the agency’s executive director, Louis Gutierrez, said in a statement.

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"If anyone is considering signing up now, we encourage them to do so.”

The Connector sells private insurance plans to individuals who don’t get coverage through an employer. Most people who buy plans through the state exchange qualify for government subsidies to offset the costs.

The state Division of Insurance last week required insurance companies to cover the costs of testing and treatment for people affected by the disease known as Covid-19. This includes waiving co-pays and deductibles.


Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at priyanka.mccluskey@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.