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Mayor's Health Line

The Mayor’s Health Line is a free, confidential, multilingual information and referral service. ​We help all residents regardless of immigration status. If you or your family needs legal help we provide referrals to legal services.

About

The Mayor’s Health Line (MHL) ensures Boston residents have access to services and programs that promote health and wellness. The MHL staff  help residents with a variety of services including:

  • answering questions about health insurance eligibility
  • enrolling in health insurance
  • finding primary care providers
  • finding social services
  • locating free clinics
  • and many more

Call or come visit!
Our operating hours: 
Monday - Friday, from 9 am -​ 5 pm
617-534-5050
Toll-Free: 1-800-847-0710
1010 Mass Ave., 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02118

All MHL staff are state-certified Navigators that offer confidential and free help with healthcare enrollment.​​

Call the Health Line for help with your health insurance application. We also provide individual case management and advocacy for our clients, navigating the healthcare system.

Open Enrollment

Massachusetts Health Connector's 2022 Open Enrollment ended on January 23rd. People who qualify for subsidized health insurance or have a qualifying life event can apply year round.

211 HelpSteps

HelpSteps is a free web and app-​based system. It connects individuals to health and human services available in Massachusetts.

Key Features:

  • ​Over 11,000 social service listings
  • Personalized search
  • ​Serves Massachusetts residents 
  • ​View detailed agency information
  • ​Advanced location search
  • ​Google Map integration
  • Twenty two service categories ​
  • ​Find nearby public transportation
  • ​Available in over 100 languages
  • ​Free & Confidential

Dr. Eric Fleegler, a physician in the division of Emergency Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, developed the HelpSteps web/app. HelpSteps is a vehicle designed to combat the social determinants of health. It makes social and health services available, at patients’ fingertips. 

To better serve Boston residents, BPHC partnered with Boston Children’s Hospital and adopted HelpSteps as its information and referral resource. In 2019, HelpSteps officially merged with United Way/Mass2-1-1 and the Greater Boston Food Bank to serve all of Massachusetts. The tool caters to user needs by location, language, services, nearest bus routes and much more. Built on a database with information on over 11,000 programs, it is the most comprehensive option for finding local health and social services.

Download the free App

News and Information

*To subscribe to the Helpsteps newsletter or attend an information ​session please contact: pberret@bphc.org​

Sign up to request training

211 Helpsteps video

Watch this video to learn more about the 211 HELPSteps program.

Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone

The SHINE Program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone)
SHINE is a state health insurance assistance program. It provides free health insurance information and counseling help to Massachusetts residents with Medicare.

The Mayor’s Health Line has two certified SHINE counselors onsite. They can help you or your loved ones with any Medicare questions. The SHINE counselors are trained and certified by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs in many areas of health benefits including:

  • Medicare A & B covered services
  • Prescription drug options
  • Medigap insurance plans
  • Medicaid
  • Free or reduced cost health care programs

A Mayor's Health Line SHINE counselor gives access to unbiased, accurate up to date information about health care options. Our SHINE counselors speak Spanish and Cape Verdean creole​. We also have a language line available.

MHL SHINE Counselors speak Cape Verdean Creole, Haitian Creole and Spanish. We have access to the Language Line and will be able to assist clients in their preferred language.

Counselors can assist you over the phone, Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm​ or you can schedule an appointment. All services are free and confidential.​ 

Questions Counselors can answer:

  • What does Medicare pay for?
  • What is Medigap Policy?
  • Where can I get help for my prescription drugs?​
  • Where can I get help for Medicare Part B?
  • When can I sign up for Medicare?
Medicare Plans Supplementing Your Medicare
Medicare Part A Hospital Insurance
Medicare Part B Medical Insurance
Medicare Part D Prescription Drugs
​Medigap Insurance Policy
Medicare Advantage Plan ( Part C)
​Medicare Enrollment Categories  
​Initial Enrollment Period The year you’re turning 65, your initial enrollment period is 7 months (3months prior to your birthday month, the month of your birthday, and 3 month after your birthday month). You can contact your local Social Security Office to enroll.
(If you missed your initial period, see special enrollment and General enrollment below.)
Automatic Enrollment If you are receiving Social Security benefits, you will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A & B. You will receive a Medicare card in the mail.
​General Enrollment ​If you miss your initial enrollment period, you can enroll in Medicare A & B during general enrollment period from January-March of each year. Medicare will start July 1st.
Special Enrollment for Part B ​If you were working after you turned 65 and were receiving insurance coverage from your employer and you decide to retire, you can contact your local Social Security Office within 8 months of losing your employer coverage to enroll in Medicare Part B.
​Delayed/Late Enrollment (Part B) If you did not enroll in Medicare during your initial enrollment period (see initial enrollment period above), and you were not working and were not covered by your employer sponsored insurance, you will be subject to a 10% lifetime penalty fee for late enrollment in Medicare part B.

Apply for Health Insurance

How we can help
MHL Navigators can answer your questions about health insurance available through the Marketplace and health plan options available through MassHealth​​. All of the MHL Navigators are trained and certified by staff from the Health Connector and MassHealth. MHL Navigators will assist you through the entire application and enrollment process.

Our state​-certified health Navigators will:

  • Answer your questions
  • Explain your coverage options
  • Help you apply and enroll in the right plan
  • Help you find a health care provider

Get Started
It's easy to get started, call us at 617-534-5050 or send us an email at mayorshealthline@bphc.org​ and provide the following:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Best day(s) to reach you
  • Best time(s) to reach you

What We Help With

Mayor’s Health Line is your link to:

  • Child Care Assistance
  • Children's Medical Security Plan (CMSP)
  • ConnectorCare
  • Food Assistance​
  • Health Safety Net
  • Home Care Services For Elders
  • MassHealth
  • Veteran's Services 
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Community Health Centers
  • Dental and Oral Health Services
  • Financial Assistance Programs
  • Free Clinics
  • Hospitals
  • Legal Assistance Programs
  • Mental Health services
  • Nutritional Programs
  • Primary Care Doctors
  • Substance Abuse services
  • And many other health and social services.

The Mayor's Health Line also provides community presentations and workshops on a variety of topics. Some presentation topics include:

  • HelpSteps
  • MassHealth​
  • Health literacy
  • Medicare 101
  • Health Connector Plans

Training Request

Sign up for a Medicare 101 workshop to learn more about Medicare​ and plan choices. Please fill out MHL Presentation Request Form and someone will contact you.

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