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FY22 Budget Conf Committee Priorities/Sign-on letters, SNAP Gap partial VICTORY & Boston Children's Food Insecurity Webinar 6/15

Thanks again for joining us at last week’s SNAP Coalition meeting.  We have two legislative Action Steps we need your help on plus two thank yous!  And we have an important UPDATE on the Baker Admin’s partial implementation of the SNAP Gap effective July 1st.

Coalition priorities for the FY22 State Budget:

The FY22 Conference Committee has been appointed. The House and Senate members are listed below. Here are the core asks from Coalition members:

·         Close the SNAP Gap for MassHealth and Medicare Savings Program (MSP) applicants:

Please urge the Conference Committee to support the Senate line-item language, 4000-0300 which requires EOHHS to let MassHealth and MSP applicants/recipients to apply for SNAP at the same time when applying for or renewing their healthcare, and to use relevant healthcare eligibility information. EOHHS has now added a simple SNAP checkbox to the MassHealth and MSP paper applications, which go live July 1st!  This is HUGE, but we need to keep the pressure on to get the SNAP checkbox option integrated into the Health Insurance Exchange (HIX) MassHealth Connector by the end of 2021!.  More info: Pat Baker pbaker@mlri.org or Jamie Klufts. Jklufts.naswma@socialworkers.org

 

o   First, here’s a link to the Good Docs with the text of the SNAP Gap/Common Apps Coalition letter to the FY22 Conference Committee urging the Committee to adopt the Senate language.  Note: the letter includes the organizations that signed onto a virtually identical letter in support of the FY21 Conference Committee budget language.  If you do NOT want your organization listed in this FY22 budget letter, please let Jamie Klufts know before Tuesday, 6/15 at noon. If your organization is NOT listed, please also let her know. 

o   Second, send an email to your Rep and Senator urging them to urge the Conference Committee to adopt the Senate provisions.

 

·         Eliminate the TAFDC and EAEDC asset tests:

Please urge the Conference Committee to adopt the Senate outside sections 48, 49 and 69 – which will eliminate the asset limits for EAEDC benefits (for elder or disabled persons) and TAFDC benefits (for families with children). The asset limits make very needy people ineligible for cash assistance, make it impossible for a household to have a reliable car, and contribute to the racial wealth gap. Eliminating the cash program asset tests also removes a huge barrier to cash benefits, consistent with the Coalition’s quest to close the “cash gap” for $0 income SNAP households.  For questions, contact Deborah Harris, dharris@mlri.org

 

o   First, please review this Google Doc with the text of the letter to the FY22 budget Conference Committee urging the Committee to adopt the Senate provisions. To sign on – please send an email by Thursday, 6/17 at noon, to Naomi Meyer, nmeyer@gbls.orgwith your name (or your Exec Director’s name), your title, and program.

o   Second, send an email to your Rep. and Senator asking them to urge the Conference Committee to adopt the Senate provisions. 

 

And here are some very direct thank you’s that you can add!

·         Health Incentives Program (HIP): Please thank all legislators for including $13 million for HIP and the “prior authorization continued” language in both the House and Senate budgets. 

·         Mass Emergency Food Assistance Program (MEFAP): Please thank all legislators for including the $30 million for MEFAP funding!

 

SNAP Gap UPDATE!!

We are thrilled to share an important update on our campaign: EOHHS is releasing revised  MassHealth (MH) and Medicare Savings Program (MSP) paper applications effective July 1stThese revised paper/PDF applications will have a simplified SNAP checkbox option upfront, which authorizes the state to have their health care applications treated as SNAP applications. EOHHS will immediately share MH or MSP eligibility application and proofs with DTA, which locks in the SNAP application date. 

Amending the healthcare paper applications is a major step forward. Note, this change does notimpact the online healthcare application process for individuals and families who file for through the online Healthcare Exchange/MassHealth Connector, which most healthcare assisters use to enroll patients.  We will provide updated information to the Coalition once the revised MassHealth and MSP applications are posted online July 1st. This is a HUGE step forward!  

And meanwhile, let's keep the pressure on for the FY22 budget language to get the Baker Administration to finish the job!

 

Boston Children’s Food Insecurity webinar, Tuesday, 6/15

 

There is still time to register for this important webinar, and Dr Snehal Shah who spoke at our Legislative Briefing pre-COVID is one of the speakers!  Check it out, below. 

 

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Boston Children's Office of Community Health <talktous@childrens.harvard.edu>
Date: Mon, Jun 14, 2021 at 9:00 AM
Subject: Reminder-Food Insecurity: Strategies to Support Families
 
 
No images? Click here

Dear Colleague,

I hope you can join us on June 15, 2021 from 10 – 11 a.m. to learn about how food insecurity continues to be a concern for many Boston Children’s patients and families in the community. This session will discuss the ways Boston Children’s is addressing this issue and supporting community health centers. We will also hear from one of our partners, Mattapan Community Health Center, about their efforts. 

Register here.

Moderator:
Marisa Otis, MPH

Community Health Program Coordinator
Boston Children’s Hospital 

Panelists:
Sharon T. Callender, RN, MPH

Director, Family and Community Health Services
Mattapan Community Health Center

Snehal Shah, MD, MPH 
Associate Medical Director, Community Integration
Department of Accountable Care and Clinical Integration
Boston Children’s Hospital

Stacy Walker, MBA

Director of Community Health Planning and Engagement
Boston Children’s Hospital 

Thank you,


Shari Nethersole, MD
Executive Director for Community Health
 

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