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New MLRI 2012 MassHealth Advocacy Guide available; MassHealth/SNAP Advocacy Tips

MLRI frequently get calls about MassHealth eligibility for SNAP and other low income clients.  Hot off the press, here's the new (2012) edition of the MassHealth Advocacy Guide available for purchase from MCLE.

It is also available on the website for free download at: /MassHealthAdvocacyGuide

SNAP and MassHealth: We also want to remind SNAP advocates, there is a RANGE of health care expenses that can be claimed by elder (60+) and disabled persons to increase SNAP benefits - including for MassHealth (Medicaid)  recipients. Sadly, there are an increasing number of health care services NOT covered under MassHealth and/or prescription drugs that now require higher MassHealth co-payments in Massachusetts.  Here's some tips worth noting:


  • Any senior or person with disabilities (receiving a disability-based benefit) who incurs over $35.01/month of non-reimbursed medical expenses will get a $90 standard medical deduction in the SNAP math.  If medical expenses are higher than $125, the household can claim actual expenses. And, when you calculate the SNAP using a medical deduction, it can often result in a higher shelter deduction which will lower the final countable income used to determine the SNAP benefit (because the "net income" threshold used to calculate excess shelter costs is lower).


  • Even clients who receive MassHealth, be sure to advise them they have the right to claim the costs of common "medicine cabinet" items recommended by their doctor, dentists and other health care professionals and that will not be reimbursed by MassHealth or other third party insurance. That can include dental supplies, skin creams, pain relief, digestive remedies, eye glasses, hearing aid batteries, incontinence supplies and more. It also includes the costs herbal remedies recommended by licensed practitioners, alternate therapies (acupuncture, chiropractic) and more. AND, remember - elder or disabled SNAP recipients can claim the costs of travel to the doctor, dentist, pharmacy, medical supply vendors - either the costs of a T-Pass, the Ride, private transport at the federal mileage rate.  These deductions also apply to children with disabilities (e.g. children on SSI where the parent takes the child to  medical appointments  or to pick up prescriptions or health supplies).


  • SNAP clients need NOT list the exact medications or reveal personal information about the specific nature of their health care treatment. That is private information DTA does not need or keep in the SNAP records. You or your client can redact (white out) the names of the prescriptions in the pharmacy print out as along as it shows the amount and date of the co-payments. 


For more information on the medical expense deduction for SNAP recipients, go to:  /node/38872  For More information on how to calculate SNAP benefits and maximize deductions, see the Food Stamps/SNAP Advocacy Guide: /FoodStampSNAPAdvocacyGuide


REMINDER:  The Next Food SNAP Coalition meetings is Tuesday, April 24th in Boston.