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August MassHealth update: MassHealth Renewals: On-line MCO selection form; Proof of residence

1. MassHealth is about half-way through its renewal process for 1.2 million members.  

Phase 1 ended June 30. About 23% of the 500K individuals required to submit a reapplication to continue their benefits missed the deadline and lost benefits. While this is a high percentage representing a lot of people, it is actually lower than the usual non-response rate for annual renewals in recent years which has been about 30%. About 49,000 people benefited from the extension renewal process giving them a second chance to get in an application by an extended deadline. People who lost benefits are free to reapply at any time to regain benefits going forward.

Phase 2 began Aug 1 with MassHealth sending notices to reapply to about 36,000 households that include one or more individuals with disabilities (about 64,000 individuals) who have until Sept 15 to complete a reapplication.
We strongly encourage applying on-line with the help of a navigator or certified application counselor. These include  state-wide organizations like Health Care for All (800-272-4232), the Mayor's Health Line (617-534-5050), Community Health Centers, Hospitals, and other community organizations. A list of assister organizations available in a given zip code is available here:
https://my.mahealthconnector.org/enrollment-assisters

Implementation

The timeline for renewals in the remainder of 2015 can be found below:
 

Renewal Group Mail Date Due Date
July - Streamlined reviews - administrative review & Express Lane 7/1/2015 NO ACTION REQUIRED
August -€“ Households with disabled members who can be determined through the HIX (including adults < 133% FPL and children at all income levels) & expired SSI members 8/1/2015 9/15/2015
September - Households with remaining Standard, Family Assistance, CarePlus & expired TAFDC members 9/1/2015 10/16/2015
October -€“ Households with premium assistance members 10/1/2015 11/15/2015
 

2. On-line MCO/PCC selection form.

MassHealth beneficiaries no longer have to call customer service to select or change a managed care plan. They can submit an on-line form or print out and mail the form (no fax option yet). MassHealth says plan choices are being processed within 1 business day of submission/receipt.

There is a new "Enroll in a Plan" link on the MassHealth home page here:

https://www.mass.gov/how-to/enroll-in-a-masshealth-health-plan-individuals-and-families-younger-than-65

While you're on the MassHealth home page, check out other new content such as:

The current dollar amount of various income and asset thresholds used in calculating benefits for people age 65 or older or people needing long term nursing facility care:
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/eligibility-figures-tables-for-masshealth-applicants-and-members

A legal services guide:
https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/ou/legal-services-guide.pdf
 

3. Proof of Residence

In order to qualify for MassHealth, Health Safety Net or Connector coverage, applicants must be  residents of Massachusetts. This means they live in Massachusetts and are not just here for a temporary visit. Unless an applicant indicates he or she is homeless, the new HIX system attempts to link the applicant's address to him or her in various data sources; if nothing is found, the applicant is asked to submit proof of residence. The applicant can be enrolled in the meantime.

The MassHealth regulations give examples of different documents that can be used to prove residence including "an affidavit supporting residency signed under pains and penalties of perjury." 130 CMR 503.002 (F)(10).

Recently, MassHealth has announced that it will require residence affidavits to be notarized. The regulation has not been amended and this new requirement appears to conflict with the regulation.

We are interested in understanding more about situations where obtaining notarization of a residence affidavit has been burdensome.  If you have seen such cases, please let Vicky know: vpulos@mlri.org 617-357-0700 Ext. 318