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Blog Archive for March 2014

There are limited situations in which MassHealth will reimburse families with children on MassHealth Standard or CommonHealth for the costs of purchasing a nongroup insurance policy for the child (or young adult under age 21) in order to obtain services like ABA for Autism that are not generally available in MassHealth.  About 200 children have this benefit now but their private insurance plans expire on or before March 31, 2014.  They must renew plans by March 24 to maintain continuous coverage on April 1. March 31 is the end of the open enrollment period to purchase nongroup plans.

A number of Coalition members have flagged the March 11th WGBH news story on the Harvard study examining whether receipt of SNAP contributes to poor food choices and obesity. The program featured former SNAP recipient Jenny Reynolds.  Here's a link to the WGBH youtube story

My Legal Services colleagues working on the TAFDC grant increase have issued the following alert on the TAFDC Cost of Living Campaign.  If you work with low income families with children, please conact your local Representative and Senator to request a grant increase, and please also contact the House and Senate Leadership.

1. There is a new resource to help disabled adults enrolled in the new One Care program: the One Care Ombudsman. 
As Coalition Members are aware, President Obama signed the 2014 "Farm Bill" or  Agricultural Act of 2014 on February 14th. The Nutrition Title of the Farm Bill includes a cut of $8.6B in SNAP benefits from the by restricting the "Heat and Eat option" on states. Section 4006 of the Farm Bill requires states meet a higher threshold amount of LIHEAP or other energy assistance in order to allow for certain shelter costs in the SNAP math.

It's not too late to sign up for the annual Immigrants & Public Benefits Training tomorrow. You can sign up on line today or at the door tomorrow.  

Thursday March 6, 2014 

9:30am – 4:00pm 

LOCATION: Mass. Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) 

10 Winter Place, Boston (Downtown Crossing) 

Here is a link to the  income guidelines for MassHealth effective March 1st.

There are two charts.  The first from MLRI includes a couple of new features.