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Health-Law-Announcements's Blog

The latest health law updates for advocates and social service providers in Massachusetts.

For you health wonks out there, the CBO estimate on the version of the American Health Care Act that passed the House early this month is now out.

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52752

23 million more people projected to lose insurance than under current law compared to 24 million in the earlier version of the bill, and a new risk of destabilizing the nongroup insurance market in those states that waive key protections in existing law.

On May 12, MassHealth posted notice of its intent to ask CMS for 3 amendments to the 1115 waiver.  It will accept public comments until June 12.

The public notice, summary of the proposed amendments, and draft amendment request are posted here: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/masshealth-health-care-reform

From our colleagues at the National Immigration Law Center --a webinar on April 24 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

Join NILC's Webinar on Protecting Your Immigrant Patients' Access to Health Care

Increased federal immigration enforcement has raised concerns among health care providers about how to ensure that immigrant patients continue to have access to health care services without fear of negative immigration consequences.

Please see the MassHealth alert below written in High Bureaucratese.  Apparently there was a glitch from an unspecified date that was detected in early March and fixed on March 17 affecting an unspecified number of people being redetermined or under deadlines to return verification documents that resulted in cases being closed without notice. 

The alert says that starting this week, MassHealth will be reinstating benefits back to the date of the no-notice closing and issuing new 14-day advance notices of termination. 

Attached please find a flyer about this year's Basic Benefit Training on Immigrants and Public Benefits coming up soon on March 30 in Boston.

This year we have added a new "Know Your Rights" session to address the increased fears in the immigrant community related to removal & deportation, and also a new session on language access.

The Repeal & Replace terrain is shifting but attached and linked below are some sources on last week's proposed House bill for your snow-bound reading on Tuesday.

We've posted on masslegalservices.org and attached MLRI's preliminary analysis of the initial House bill to repeal and replace the ACA and how it may affect MassHealth & the Connector. 

Some good information on the Medicaid Per Capita Allotment proposal and how it may affect Massachusetts prepared for the BCBS Foundation is posted here:

Committees in the House have now released the long threatened bill to repeal & replace the Affordable Care Act.

The most draconian change would fundamentally restructure the Medicaid program by reducing federal reimbursement to states through a new funding mechanism called a Per Capita Allotment starting in 2020. This goes beyond repealing the ACA --it's repealing the federal commitment to the states when Medicaid was enacted 50 years ago!

And what about the coverage gains under the ACA?

On Feb 24, MassHealth released two notices of proposed changes to two different LTSS services: Adult Foster Care & Personal Care Attendant Services. Each is scheduled for a public hearing at U Mass in Worcester on different days. The AFC public hearing is March 17. The PCA public hearing is March 20.

The notices of public hearing (including a high level summary of the changes), the proposed rules (the pdf is a redline version showing the changes) and a link to sign up to testify are posted on the MassHealth Proposed Regulation website here:

Attached are two charts.

  1. The MLRI MassHealth Income Chart.  This chart factors in the 5% MAGI income deduction to the various poverty levels.
  2. The MassHealth Desk Guide.  The MassHealth version of the income chart without the 5% MAGI numbers factored in

The charts can also be found in the Health Law section of the Mass Legal Services library, http://www.masslegalservices.org/content/masshealth-income-guidelines-effective-march-1-2017

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