Fishing Partnership is a non-profit organization with a charter to support the health and well-being of fishing families here in New England. Since our organization was founded back in 1997, that support has taken different forms. We started as a health plan because that’s what commercial fishing families needed. In the riskiest business in the country, health insurance was hard to get prior to health reform—and it was expensive. In a groundbreaking effort, Fishing Partnership created an affordable health plan that covered a group of hard-to-reach, chronically uninsured, high-risk individuals and ran it successfully for nearly 15 years.
Now that it’s easier for everyone in Massachusetts to get affordable health insurance, we’re no longer a health plan. And we’ve changed our name from Fishing Partnership Health Plan to Fishing Partnership Support Services to reflect our broader mission. We kept our offices open in port towns and kept them staffed with Fishing Partnership Navigators—members of fishing families who are trained as Community Health Workers. We connect members with a broad range of professional counseling services, provide assistance with health insurance applications, and offer safety and survival trainings and other special health-oriented events for fishing families.