What does the American Rescue Plan Act Mean for Affordable Health Coverage and Enhanced Medicaid services in Massachusetts?


The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) signed by President Biden on March 11, 2021 is the most significant (albeit temporary) expansion of affordable health care coverage since the Affordable Care Act.  This Memo is a first pass at what the ARPA mean for affordable health coverage and enhanced Medicaid services in Massachusetts.


April 9, 2021 Updates from DOL, Health Connector & IRS: 

Information on COBRA Premium Assistance Subsidy now posted on federal Dept. of Labor website: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/ebsa/laws-and-regulations/laws/cobra/premium-subsidy

The Health Connector Bulletin creating a Special Enrollment Period based on expiration of COBRA premium assistance after Sept 30, 2021: https://betterhealthconnector.com/wp-content/uploads/rules-and-regulations/AdminBulletin05-21.pdf

IRS announcement implementing waiver of excess payment of advance premium tax credits for 2020 tax filers; https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-suspends-requirement-to-repay-excess-advance-payments-of-the-2020-premium-tax-credit-those-claiming-net-premium-tax-credit-must-file-form-8962

June 3, 2021 CMS Guidance on ARPA Provisions affecting Medicaid and CHIP

  •  https://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/downloads/cib060321.pdf

Updates related to additional funding for enhanced HCBS 

  • May 13, 2021 & June 3, 2021 CMS Guidance: 
  • EOHHS Website on enhanced HCBS & Quarterly spending plans submitted to CMS
    •  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/strengthening-home-and-community-based-services-and-behavioral-health-services-using-american-rescue-plan-arp-funding




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