Dear Friend of Ecu-Health Care:

As a local independent non-profit agency, Ecu-Health Care is helping people find answers to health coverage problems each and every day. At any moment we might find ourselves, a family member, a friend or a neighbor losing health insurance for any number of reasons. This could be due to job loss, divorce, aging off of a parent’s health plan, a retiree who is not yet Medicare eligible, an individual turning 65 who is in need of help transitioning to Medicare and many more. Our Health Coverage Counselors are available to provide education, guidance and application assistance for all MassHealth and Massachusetts Health Connector options.

There is no such thing as a typical day in the office of Ecu-Health Care. Every day brings a new challenge. We are called upon to assist individuals or families who are often dealing with a medical emergency and discover that they have no health insurance. This year has been exceptionally challenging. We need your help to continue our important work.

COVID-19:
• As the President declared a national emergency and the Governor of Massachusetts shut down businesses across the state, including the MassHealth and Health Connector walk-in centers, Ecu-Health Care, a designated essential business, kicked into high-gear. Following the recommendation of our State leaders to cease all in-person assistance our dedicated staff devised a plan to continue providing assistance to local area residents. We continued to conduct business as “almost” usual by utilizing online resources, having appointments by telephone and providing a drop-box to obtain necessary documentation so we could successfully secure health insurance for individuals already without coverage, and for those who had recently lost their employer plans due to lay-offs and business closings.

CRANE & CO.:
• Upon learning of the closing of long-time local employer Crane & Co., Ecu-Health Care’s Executive Director reached out to the Human Resources Department at Crane and collaborated with the Rapid Response Business Service Coordinator at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development to provide information, guidance and application assistance to individuals losing their health insurance benefits. Ecu-Health Care provided information regarding all public health insurance programs including MassHealth, and the Massachusetts Health Connector and further compiled a list of options where employees could seek assistance based on their geographic location. Additionally, we participated in WebEx virtual online meetings with the Rapid Response Team and worked with many local area residents to assist with the application and enrollment process.

In 2019, Ecu-Health Care assisted 9419 individuals and families. All services provided are free to the public. This, of course, requires financial support. We rely on several grant-funded sources for that support, but none is more important than contributions from individuals in our own community. We are asking you for your help now.

As it becomes increasingly difficult to secure funding, your gift of $50, $100, $500 or whatever you can afford is crucial to our success as we continue to help all North Berkshire residents access health coverage. Ecu-Health Care is the only stand-alone, non-profit organization in Massachusetts whose mission focuses exclusively on health coverage outreach and enrollment. To continue providing these vital services, we need your help.

Our enclosed newsletter provides a snapshot of the work we do and the number of individuals in our community that your contribution can help. Please consider making a donation today by donating online at www.ecuhealthcare.com. Thank you in advance for your generous support.

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