Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations

For Brookline's most updated COVID-19 information, news, and resources, please visit https://brooklinecovid19.com/

Health Connector Special Enrollment Period for COVID-19


To ensure everyone who wants access to covered coronavirus services has it, the Massachusetts Health Connector announced that uninsured residents can apply and get into coverage through a 45-day window running until April 25.

On March 6, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (DOI) announced that Massachusetts health insurers are now required to cover the cost of testing and treatment for members who may be affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including not charging co-pays or deductibles for those services.

The Health Connector's decision to open enrollment to anyone without coverage ensures Massachusetts residents concerned about contracting coronavirus can access necessary services without cost barriers.

Additionally, the Health Connector will be sharing information about the Division of Insurance guidance with its members to reassure them that coronavirus-related services are available at no cost. View the related press release from the Health Connector.

Important Information About Coverage for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Insurers in Massachusetts, including those that offer health plans through the Health Connector, are now required to cover the cost of testing and treatment for members who may be affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Division of Insurance (DOI) has asked health insurance companies to take several steps to help protect people in Massachusetts against coronavirus, including the following:

Set up telephone helplines to answer questions about coronavirus

Make telehealth services more available and at a lower cost to members. This is so members can be seen and treated by a doctor without having to go into an office whenever possible

Remove coronavirus testing and treatment costs (like co-pays) when medically needed

If you are already a MassHealth/Health Connector Member, you are encouraged to:

Contact the health insurance company if you have specific questions about the benefits offered by your plan

Learn more about the coronavirus from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Learn more about the DOI guidelines for health insurers in Massachusetts

If you need assistance applying for healthcare in Brookline, please contact:

Sarah E. Kaplan, Community Relations Specialist

Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Community Relations

11 Pierce Street, 1st Floor, Brookline, MA 02445

skaplan@brooklinema.gov; (617) 730-2329


Best Practices for Inclusion in Brookline Commissions, Committees, and Boards

Civic engagement and increased public participation in Town wide decisions is important to an inclusive and sustainable community. It is important to provide meaningful and accessible opportunities to increase public participation within the Town. In addition to communicating meetings more effectively and making meeting locations more accessible and inclusive, it is imperative to empower the diverse and underrepresented residents of the community to participate civically in Brookline.

Based on findings from Civic Engagement Barrier surveys, personal narratives, and collaborative work done by InclusiveBrookline, recommendations from the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations to further cultivate a community of civically engaged people and inclusive decision making groups are provided in the document linked above. 


Call to Action: Civic Engagement 

Call to Action_ Civic Engagement


Commissions and Elected Officials Demographic Survey

The Office aims to support a welcoming environment by encouraging cooperation, tolerance and respect among and by all persons who come contact with the Town of Brookline and by advancing, promoting and advocating for the human and civil rights through education, outreach and advocacy. The mission of the Office and the goal of the Town shall be to strive for a community characterized by the values of inclusion.

2020 Commissions and Elected Official Demographic Survey Report

Civic Engagement Survey 

The Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations would like to learn what you may face as barriers to being involved in public meetings and what some solutions may be to allow you to participate if you would like to.

Take this survey online.

Hard copies of the Civic Engagement Survey can be found in Town Hall, the Health Department and Brookline Village Library.

If you have any questions about the survey or would like to access it via email, please contact Caitlin Starr by email or at 617-730-2345. 

Mission

The Office provides professional and administrative support to the following Town Commissions:

Useful links:

The Director serves as the Chief Diversity Officer. The Office provides assistance in applying for health insurance and other entitlement programs and advocates for those who may face discrimination, stereotyping and social injustice.


Reporting Discrimination

  1. Complaint Screening Committee (PDF)
  2. Complaint Process Against Town or School Departments (PDF)
  3. Procedure for Other Complaints (PDF)
  4. Brookline Discrimination Report Form


Government Alliance on Race and Equity

GARE Racial Equity Action Plans (PDF)

GARE Racial Equity Toolkit (PDF)

Racial Equality Alliance

Equal Opportunity Employer

The Town of Brookline recognizes and values diversity as a vital characteristic of the town. All qualified individuals will receive consideration for employment and advancement without regard to race, color, ethnicity, gender (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, age, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, military or veteran status, genetic information, marital status, receipt of public benefits (including housing subsidies), family status (e.g. because one has or doesn’t have children), or other protected classes as defined by the Town, State and Federal law. The Town of Brookline supports and complies with the MA CORI reform law.