The Vineyard Health Care Access Program is a community-based service of Dukes County that connects residents of Martha’s Vineyard with health benefits. We help people to apply for, enroll in, and maintain coverage in health insurance programs including MassHealth (Medicaid), Medicare , Connector Care and Qualified Health Plans. We also provide assistance with other government benefits like Social Security Disability and Food Stamps. We support our clients by ‘navigating’ the bureaucracies of government benefits and private health insurance so Islanders can not only enroll in, but also maintain these essential benefits.
Other services include our Prescription Assistance program which includes counseling for Medicare Part D (drug plans) and other prescription programs, and an emergency fund for short-term assistance paying for medicine and medical transportation; Vineyard Smiles, a mobile dental service for children of all ages and low-income seniors and disabled adults; and referrals to health care providers and related community resources.
The Access Program was established in 1999 by the Dukes County Health Council after they documented that Islanders were more likely to be uninsured due to the seasonal economy and low numbers of large employers. Since the Island does not have any local offices for MassHealth, Social Security, Unemployment or Transitional Assistance, Islanders face the additional challenge either travelling to the mainland to apply for programs in these offices or managing applications and benefits over the telephone or online, which can be extremely difficult. In order to help our community with health care and safety net assistance, Dukes County and the six Island Towns have made a commitment to offer benefit navigation assistance locally via the Access Program.
To assist residents of Martha’s Vineyard to obtain affordable, high-quality health care, and safety net services.
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