FY 2025 budget amendments

The FY 2025 budget is now before the Senate. Debate will begin next week. Over 1100 amendments were submitted last week. This week many Senators will be deciding which amendments  to co-sponsor and/or speaking to Senate leadership about amendments they support. This makes it an important time to call your Senator.


With regard to MassHealth, listed below are two important amendments affecting MassHealth coverage for older adults and people with disabilities: 


  1.  EHS 563 Asset Update for Seniors (Sen DiDomenico): This amendment amends the MassHealth statute to raise the countable assets limit from $2000/$3000 to $10,000/$15,000 for an individual/couple and to exclude the cash surrender value of life insurance policies as an asset. The asset limits applicable to seniors and people needing long term nursing home care have not been updated since the 1980s. Proving what kind of life insurance you have, its face value, and whether it has a cash surrender value is the kind of verification rule that often leads to eligible older adults being denied or losing coverage for procedural reasons.   See also, GOV 123 Asset Update for Seniors (Sen. Feeney) This amendment raises the MassHealth assets limits from $2000/3000 to $10,000/$15000 but does not include anything about life insurance. 
  2. EHS 557 PCA Working Group Addition (Sen Robyn Kennedy) This amendment adds language to the MassHealth senior account which is the line item where SWM added language to stop the PCA cuts (line item 4000-0601). The amendment requires EOHHS to hold a public hearing before it moves ahead with its plan to require a single entity to do the clinical assessments and make the eligibility decisions for PCA  and many other types of long term services. Independent living centers and other local organizations now do these assessments subject to MassHealth approval. After a public hearing, the amendment would also require EOHHS to submit a report to the legislature 30 days  before proceeding with this complex and controversial initiative.  268,000 MassHealth beneficiaries who now use these long term services deserve a say!