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PRESS RELEASE- Western Mass Delegation Sponsors Two 'Connect to Health' Events: Small Business Seminar by Connector's Executive Director Jon Kingsdale Learn How Health Care Reform Affects You on December 8th
December 04, 2007

Boston- The western Massachusetts legislative delegation is teaming up with the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority to reach directly into our region to provide information about the state’s new health care reform law and enroll local residents.


The Massachusetts health insurance requirements will affect everyone in the state including small business owners.  Responding to a great demand for information, the Connector’s Executive Director Jon Kingsdale will be at the two events conducting a small business seminar for all local businesses interested in learning more about their responsibilities as an employer. 


“We receive many calls regarding the new health care requirements, not only from individuals, but also from small business owners who want to understand how these new requirements will affect their daily operations.  We thought it would be helpful to have those questions addressed,” said Downing.  “This will event will be a great opportunity for anyone seeking information or coverage.”


Two “Connect to Health” enrollment events will be held Saturday, December 8, 2007 as follows:


10 a.m. to Noon           Berkshire Athenaeum

One Wendell Ave

Pittsfield, MA 01201


2 p.m. to 4 p.m.            Greenfield Community College

                                    270 Main Street, Room B19

                                    Greenfield, MA 01301


“Providing access to healthcare for people who do not have it is a major goal of the new healthcare reform law. These outreach sessions in western Massachusetts will provide people with information and the opportunity to actually enroll in a healthcare plan. I am pleased to sponsor and participate in the Connector’s event in Greenfield, and I hope that many of my constituents will take advantage of this opportunity,” said Representative Steve Kulik (D-Worthington).


Massachusetts adults are now required to have health insurance. More than 200,000 have enrolled during the past year.


This will be a great event both for individuals and small businesses in Berkshire County to find out what plans are available and how the state can help them with their health insurance needs,” said Representative Christopher N. Speranzo (D-Pittsfield).


“We’ve made remarkable progress in a very short period of time, but there is still much work to do,” said Health Connector Executive Director Jon Kingsdale. “We’re extremely grateful to the western Mass delegation for helping us bring this critical opportunity directly to their constituents.”


"As the deadline for the mandate for health care approaches I'm very pleased that the Connector is coming to the Berkshires to help individuals and small businesses get a better understanding of what options are available to them and the related costs." said Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox).


Local enrollment experts from Advocacy for Access and Ecu-Health Care will also be on hand to participate in the event.


Adults who do not have health insurance this year will lose their personal exemption worth $219 when they file their next state tax return. Penalties will be significantly higher beginning Jan. 1.


Detailed information on the new health plans is also available on the Health Connector’s website,, or by calling 1-877-MA-ENROLL weekdays.


"I strongly encourage anyone or any business that has yet to register for health insurance to stop by the event," said Representative Denis E. Guyer (D-Dalton).




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