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 past year has once again proven to be exceptionally challenging. We need your help to continue our important work. Throughout 2020 and 2021, the staff at Ecu-Health Care have been working closely with both MassHealth and the Massachusetts Health Connector as the landscape of health coverage has been changing at a rapid pace to ensure all eligible individuals receive access to affordable health coverage. As coverage protections remain in place to all current MassHealth members, we have been working to assist newly eligible MassHealth and Health Connector member obtain coverage.

The Massachusetts Health Connector and the American Rescue Plan:

• On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act. The American Rescue Plan includes significant coverage and affordability expansions for ACA Marketplaces and increased Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs).

• In Massachusetts, that means ConnectorCare members, members receiving APTCs-only and some members with incomes beyond 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) will see premium reductions. The American Rescue Plan eliminates the subsidy cliff so that subsidies no longer end at 400 percent of the FPL, and there is no upper income limit for receiving APTCs. This means that any individual who purchases coverage through the Health Connector will now be eligible to access APTCs if their annual premium exceeds 8.5 percent of their annual household income and they do not have access to other coverage.

In 2020, Ecu-Health Care assisted 7434 individuals and families navigate through the public health coverage options. 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 using the enclosed envelope or by donating online at www.ecuhealthcare.com. Thank you in advance for your generous support.

Sincerely,

Karen Baumbach, Executive Director

Donald LeBreux, President

Lawrence Taft, Vice President