How do I get insurance?
The first thing to do is check with your employer to learn if they provide health insurance as a benefit. Many companies and organizations offer low-cost health plans, which may include dental and vision plans.
If your employer doesn’t offer a plan or if you’re out of work, the Mass Health Connector may be able to help. The open enrollment period typically runs from November to January, yet you can enroll in coverage any time of the year if you are applying for dental plans or if you’ve experienced a qualifying life event.
You may also be eligible for Massachusetts Medicaid, or MassHealth, which pays for healthcare for certain Massachusetts residents. The program offers healthcare benefits directly or by paying part or all of your health-insurance premiums. To learn more about the program, visit the MassHealth site.
What if I’m on my parents’ or partner’s insurance?
If you are on someone else’s health insurance and you are worried about them getting billed for services, you may be able to keep your billing private. Normally, the subscriber of the plan (e.g., parent or partner) gets an insurance form about your visits. It may list the place, date, and cost of the visits. Your insurance company may be able to send it directly to you instead.
You can ask to have your billing information kept private when you get services like:
- HIV/STD tests or treatment
- HIV PrEP or PEP
- Viral hepatitis tests or treatment
- Treatment for alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use
- Mental health care
- Gender affirmation/transition care
- Partner or domestic violence support
To ask if you can receive the insurance form directly, you must call your insurance company (use the customer service phone number on the back of your insurance card). Ask if you can receive insurance billing information directly, instead of your parent or partner. Provide any information you are asked for such as the policy number on your insurance card and the visit dates. The insurance plan will inform you if you can make this change.
Where can I find free services?
Looking for PrEP? Testing and treatment for HIV, Hep C, or STDs? Syringe exchange services? Search this interactive map of Massachusetts programs that offer these and other services at no cost to you. If you have insurance, your carrier may be billed for services, yet there will likely be no out-of-pocket costs.