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Health Update: sign-on letters, Health Access training, claiming child tax credits

Hello all, a few quick things- details below:
1. Reminder to Sign onto MLRI's letter to CMS supporting reinstatement of 3 month retro by Feb. 3
2. Register now for the Health Care Access Training: February 15, 2022
3. Share a sign-on letter for healthcare workers supporting the SNAP Gap/Common Application campaign by Jan. 28
4. Read a report on the SNAP gap
5. Use to help claim child tax credits
1. Reminder to Sign-on to Support 3 Month Retroactive Coverage:

Since 1997 CMS has allowed MassHealth to waive three month’s retroactive coverage, which is otherwise required by the federal Medicaid statute, for most MassHealth beneficiaries under age 65. In its 1115 renewal request, MassHealth says it will restore 3 month retroactive coverage for pregnant women and children, but it asks CMS to once again waive 3 month retroactive coverage for most other adults under 65 for another 5 years. Retroactive coverage saves low income people from devastating medical debt, and opens the door to accessing necessary care. It allows families to spend their limited resources on food and housing, rather than paying off medical bills. 

If your organization agrees that all MassHealth beneficiaries should have the benefits of three months retroactive coverage, please sign-on to our letter to CMS at this link, by February 3 : CMS Sign On Letter -3 Months Retro


2. Health Care Access Training:
It's that time of year again! MLRI & MCLE's Health Care Access Basic Benefits Training is happening online on  February 15, 2022, 9:30am-4:00pm. To register, click here and scroll down to the Health Care Access training. This training is designed to help attendees understand MassHealth and other subsidized health programs available to people under age 65 in Massachusetts. It will give outreach workers, social workers, providers, and advocates an up-to-date, nuts-and-bolts overview of eligibility issues, and how to assist their patients and clients in becoming enrolled in and maintaining coverage. It will also provide an update on MassHealth changes related to the COVID-19 public health emergency and coverage for COVID testing, treatment and prevention.. See the attached flyer for more informationregister here, and share with your networks. 
3. SNAP Gap/Common App. Sign-on Letter:
The SNAP Gap/Common App legislation is rounding the turn to the finish line. Having a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Health Care Finance, the legislation H.1290/S.761 is currently in House Ways and  Means. Two Harvard Medical School students - Meghan Mishra and Jordan Kondo - have organized a sign on letter to House and Senate Leadership urging passage of this bill.  Megan and Jordan have gathered over 300 signatures from medical students and MDs. Please share this GOOGLE DOC with the medical students and MDs in your life and network, and sign on by tomorrow, January 28. 
4. SNAP Gap report:
Our MLRI colleagues, along with HealthLeads and the MA Chapter of National Association of Social Workers recently published a report on the SNAP gap in Massachusetts. Read the report here. 
5. Help Claiming Child Tax Credit: is a one stop shop for information, outreach materials, and resources on the Child Tax Credit, EITC, and getting stimulus payments for those who missed them in 2020/2021. 2022 is a critical year to make sure all low income families are connected to the federal tax dollars they are eligible for. All families need to file with the IRS in order to get the second half of the expanded Child Tax Credit - even if they were getting monthly payments in 2021! And in 2021 58,000 Massachusetts kids were not automatically issued the Child Tax Credit - meaning their family does not typically file taxes and will likely need extra support getting these dollars. partners, including MASSCap and the Shah Family Foundation, are also available to do presentations and share more information (in English and Spanish). Please contact Sarah McKitterick - - to connect!
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