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Upcoming MassHealth Training on SACA-2 and other news

Happy Friday
Today we're passing along news from--
1. Our MLRI colleague Vicky Negus about state legislation requiring a common application for key needs-based benefits; 
2. The National Health Law Program about a  lawsuit filed in federal district court in Connecticut challenging the legality of a federal Medicaid rule narrowing the scope of the moratorium on Medicaid termination during the pandemic (MassHealth implemented this problematic federal rule in July 2021), and 
3. MassHealth about an upcoming August 31 MassHealth training on  the application and renewal process for people age 65 or older or seeking long term care. 
The Common Application for needs-tested benefits has passed! 
On July 27th, the Baker Administration implemented a portion of FY21 and FY22 budget language and began allowing low-income households applying for or renewing MassHealth online to apply for SNAP food benefits at the same time. This is a major step towards closing the SNAP gap. 
Yesterday (Aug 4) , the Legislature officially re-enacted language from the FY23 budget that had been amended by the Governor - This language directs the Administration to create a common application for SNAP, MassHealth, cash assistance, childcare and housing subsidies, fuel assistance, and other needs-tested benefits. 
These two actions in tandem represent significant steps toward making benefit programs more efficient and effective, closing participation gaps, and ensuring more residents connect to the programs they desperately need. 
For more information, MLRI and NASW-MA's press release is  posted here.
We look forward to working with you all on implementation of a simple, accessible Common App with the next administration - but that is a conversation for another day! For today, we celebrate! Yay! 
Finally, interesting news from our colleagues in Connecticut who have filed suit in federal district court to challenge their Medicaid agency's implementation of the Nov 2020 federal regulation promulgated during the Trump administration which interpreted the COVID-19 termination moratorium to allow states to reduce benefits from full Medicaid to just Medicaid payment of Medicare Part B premiums.  MassHealth implemented this same challenged policy in July 2021. 
Low-Income Medicaid Enrollees Sue U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Failing to Undo Lawless, Harmful Policy Adopted by Trump Administration
Illegal Policy Requires State Medicaid Agencies to Kick Hundreds of Thousands of People Off of Medicaid During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Violation of Congress’s Clear Mandate
The Trump Administration issued an “interim final rule” in November 2020, at the time of the Presidential election. That rule then required states to trim their Medicaid rolls, in violation of the “Coronavirus Response Act,” passed by Congress in March 2020. In exchange for receiving billions of dollars of additional federal funding, states are forbidden under that law from involuntarily terminating anyone in the state from Medicaid during the federally-declared COVID-19 public health emergency. But without allowing any opportunity for prior public comment, the Trump administration rule created huge new exceptions to this Congressional requirement out of whole cloth, changing federal policy that had been in place for eight months since the Act was passed in March.
“The requirement to keep people on Medicaid during the ongoing crisis was adopted precisely because Congress recognized the severe threat, not just to individuals but to public health, from ending health insurance to vulnerable, low-income people,” said Sheldon Toubman, Litigation Attorney at Disability Rights Connecticut. 
The action was filed this week in U.S. District Court in Connecticut. It asks the Court to invalidate the rule and, in the meantime, to restore benefits to persons wrongfully terminated from Medicaid during the public health emergency.
Plaintiffs are represented by Disability Rights Connecticut, Justice in Aging, The National Health Law Program (NHeLP), and the law firm Stinson LLP. 
View Complaint


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Massachusetts Health Care Training Forum <>
Date: Thu, Aug 4, 2022 at 4:50 PM
Subject: MassHealth for Seniors and Individuals Seeking Long-Term-Care Services (LTC) Webinar - 8/31/22
To: <>
Health Care Training Forum
MassHealth for Seniors and Individuals Seeking Long-Term-Care Services (LTC)
Webinar: MassHealth for Seniors and Individuals Seeking 
Long-Term-Care Services (LTC) Part 1
August 31, 2022
10:00am - 11:30am
MassHealth provides health care benefits for eligible children, families, seniors, and people with disabilities living in Massachusetts. MassHealth may offer benefits directly or help pay for all or part of a member’s health insurance premiums. As a MassHealth member, they may have access to doctor visits, dental visits, prescription drugs, behavioral health services, and other important health care services. The first step individuals need to take is to apply. 
The MassHealth for Seniors and Individuals Seeking Long-Term-Care Services (LTC) webinar series will review and step through how seniors and people needing long-term-care services apply, renew, and programs for seniors. The Application for Health Coverage for Seniors and People Needing Long-Term-Care Services, commonly referred to as the SACA-2, is for seniors and persons of any age needing long-term-care services.
The MassHealth for Seniors and Individuals Seeking Long-Term-Care Services (LTC) webinar is a three-part series that will guide you as you help individuals 65 years of age or older or any individual seeking long-term-care services apply for health care benefits. You will also learn about educating individuals on how they can maintain their health care coverage. 
In Part 1, you will be able to:
  • Explain who can use the Application for Health Coverage for Seniors and People Needing Long-Term-Care Services (SACA-2) and the MassHealth Buy-In for people who are eligible for Medicare
  • Describe eligibility requirements
  • Demonstrate how to complete each section of the SACA-2 application and the MassHealth Buy-In for people who are eligible for Medicare
  • Identify what documents are required and how to submit them
  • Discuss best practices for handling SACA-2 applications
Coming Soon:
  • Part 2 - Programs for MassHealth Members 65 Years of Age and Older
  • Part 3 - MassHealth Renewal for Members 65 Years of Age and Older
Click on the button below to register
MA Health Care Training Forum | 508-856-4306 | |
UMass Chan Medical School - Commonwealth Medicine