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Information about COVID-19 from MassHealth and the Health Connector

Latest update from MassHealth. Clarifies that testing & treatment of COVID-19 are covered under emergency Medicaid (MassHealth Limited). HSN will also cover when testing/treatment provided by hospitals or CHCs. And alerts assisters to USCIS announcement that COVID-19 testing & treatment will not be considered for public charge purposes.
 
---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: MAhealthconnectorUpdates <mahealthconnectortraining@state.ma.us>
Date: Wed, Mar 18, 2020 at 3:57 PM
Subject: Information about COVID-19 from MassHealth and the Health Connector
To: <vpulos@mlri.org>
 
Assister Updates
Important News for Certified Assisters in Massachusetts
March 18, 2020
MassHealth Enrollment Centers and Health Connector Walk-In Centers
Provider Bulletins and Additional Guidance
Hospital-Determined Presumptive Eligibility (HPE)
HSN and Limited
Public Charge
Reporting a Change
Questions?
Dear Assisters,
 
We are reaching out to provide important updates about our response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). We thank you for the support you provide individuals to obtain and maintain health coverage especially during this difficult time. 
MassHealth Enrollment Centers and Health Connector Walk-In Centers
 
In response to COVID-19, and to support the health and safety of our members and staff, all MassHealth Enrollment sites will be closed for walk-in visitors until the Emergency is declared over. If MassHealth members or applicants need support or have any questions, they should contact the Customer Service Center at (800) 841-2900; TTY: (800) 497-4648. In addition, applicants can apply for benefits online at www.mahealthconnector.org.
 
Please be advised the Massachusetts Health Connector walk-in centers in Boston, Brockton, Springfield, and Worcester, and all Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) offices are also closed for walk-in visitors. 
Provider Bulletins and Additional Guidance
 
In coordination with agencies across the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), MassHealth/ EOHHS have released provider bulletins and additional guidance in response to COVID-19. 
 
These policies expand telehealth coverage, including telephonic coverage, expanded coverage through Hospital-Determined Presumptive Eligibility (HPE), provide information for providers to bill for COVID-19 lab testing, and cover 90-day refills of prescriptions and early refills. 
 
The bulletins and guidance are based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and related state and federal actions, and will be updated as needed and as additional information is available. Please regularly check mass.gov/2019coronavirus for general updated information and mass.gov/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-and-masshealth for MassHealth-related information.
 
The following bulletins and guidance have been posted to date:
 
Additionally, a FAQ for members and applicants has been posted. A FAQ for providers will be posted shortly. 

Please check back regularly for updates.
Hospital-Determined Presumptive Eligibility (HPE)
 
MassHealth has expanded HPE to provide individuals with a diagnosis of COVID-19 or presumptive diagnosis a HPE benefit even if they have had MassHealth or HPE in the previous 12 months. MassHealth will continue to update its guidance on HPE as the situation evolves. 
HSN and Limited
 
Testing and treatment for COVID-19 related services will be considered emergency and covered by MassHealth Limited.
 
Testing and treatment for COVID-19 related services will be reimbursed by the HSN when provided by hospitals and community health centers. 
 
A bulletin for HSN providers is forthcoming. 
Public Charge
 
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued guidance that it will not consider testing, treatment, or preventive care related to COVID-19 as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination for immigrants or certain nonimmigrants seeking an extension of stay or change of status even if such treatment is provided or paid for by one or more public benefits, as defined in the rule (e.g. federally funded Medicaid).  
 
Individuals with symptoms that resemble COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath) should not forego medical care and are encouraged to seek necessary medical treatment or preventive services. Such treatment or preventive services will not negatively affect any alien as part of a future Public Charge analysis. 
Reporting a Change
 
We encourage MassHealth members to report any change of circumstance, including reduction in income, to MassHealth as soon as possible by calling the Customer Service Center at (800) 841-2900; TTY: (800) 497-4648. You may be newly eligible for MassHealth or eligible for a different benefit level. 
 
When helping Health Connector members update their account, you can review the steps for how to update your online account here
Questions?
 
For questions about MassHealth coverage, contact MassHealth Customer Service at: 800-841-2900 (TTY: 800-497-4648).
 
For questions about Health Connector coverage, contact Health Connector Customer Service at: 877-623-6765 (TTY: 877- 623-7773).

To apply for MassHealth benefits online, visit the MA Health Connector's website at www.mahealthconnector.org.
MassHealth is committed to working with assisters, providers, plans, and other stakeholders to ensure member needs continue to be met during this time. We thank you for your partnership and vigilance as we work together through the challenges of COVID-19. We will continue to update you on further developments as it relates to the MassHealth program, and encourage you to consult both the MA Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control websites for the most up to date information.
 
MassHealth and the Health Connector
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