Ben Forman, MassINC, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member and Former Rappaport Policy Fellow
Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector
Audrey Morse Gasteier, Director of Research and Policy and Former Rappaport Policy Fellow
Description of Fellowship
Sasha Albert’s projects supported the Health Connector’s work to ensure that Massachusetts residents have timely and comprehensive health insurance. She drafted a memo on – and policy recommendations to resolve – gaps in health insurance coverage for newborns that can leave new parents with large and unexpected medical bills. These coverage gaps occur due to overlaps in Health Connector and MassHealth eligibility for pregnant people, and mismatches in when new parents are required to report their babies for insurance coverage. The Health Connector aims to share this information with MassHealth, and to work to implement a policy solution. The Health Connector also aims to take a more proactive role in ensuring that the benefit designs and formularies of the health plans on its shelf are non- discriminatory; to support this work, she developed a comprehensive brief defining benefit design discrimination, the history of pre- and post-Affordable Care Act nondiscrimination protections, and options for the Health Connector’s future role in nondiscrimination. She also developed a memo offering considerations and recommendations for collecting gender, sex, and pregnancy eligibility information on applications for health insurance coverage in a more inclusive way. Other projects included developing graphs and charts to depict insurance coverage ratesand types in Massachusetts over the past 23 years and researching the history of insurance carrier participation in the Massachusetts exchange.