Changing Health Care Laws Create Scramble for Coverage

Many policies are changing over effective March 31, including Network Health, popular among Islanders with low and moderate incomes. Health care providers confirm the confusion.

Manning the Front Lines of Health Care Confusion

National health care reform rolled out Oct. 1, leaving some confused about if and how things will change, and others lost in the details of premiums and health insurance exchanges.

On the Vineyard, the staff at Vineyard Health Care Access is at the front lines, fielding calls from residents, receiving training on the new law, and answering questions about how things will change.

Health Insurance Plan Attempts to Reach Uncovered Islanders

Islanders without health insurance will receive an invitation to band together next year in a community-based plan that aims to open the doors to a comprehensive health care system now out of reach for one-fifth of the Vineyard's 15,000 year-round residents.

But many doctors and health care agencies worry that the plan may tip the already fragile financial balance of caring for patients under a paperwork-laden and reimbursement-stingy health maintenance organization system.

Health Insurance Cost Overrun Prompts Oak Bluffs Special Vote

Oak Bluffs voters are not out of the woods yet when it comes to confronting deficits in their cash-strapped town.

A $180,000 cost overrun on the town health insurance plan will require a special town meeting to transfer money to pay the bill, town administrator Michael Dutton told selectmen at their meeting this week.

Health Insurance

Health Insurance

Massachusetts law limits when state residents can buy health insurance. The law applies to individuals and families buying health insurance on their own, outside of an employer’s plan or government-subsidized program. People in this group will have two opportunities to buy health insurance in 2011: Jan. 1 to Feb. 15, and July 1 to August 15. People who are uninsured and need health insurance now are advised to act soon in order to meet the Feb. 15 deadline.

Incentive to Drop Insurance is Option for Healthier Budget

Tisbury is looking to reduce the cost of health insurance by pushing town employees to shift themselves onto the policies of family members who don’t work for the town.

In return for getting themselves off the town’s health insurance, workers could be offered thousands of dollars toward subsidizing the cost of alternate arrangements.

The suggestion was one of a number of cost-saving and revenue-raising measures which came up at Tuesday’s meeting of the selectmen.