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Blog Archive for October 2015

See email from DTA Ombuds Sara Craven below.  Note that the MassHealth Enrollment Centers and other state agencies were also impacted. For better or worse, this was not specific to DTA. As a result of this outage, there is likely a long wait to reach DTA workers on the Assistance Line and we need to be sure that no SNAP applications filed over the Virtual Gateway got lost.  If you filed a client application yesterday, please track it carefully for DTA.

1. Attached and posted in the health section of masslegalservices.org is an updated version of MLRI's paper summarizing the immigrant eligibility rules in MassHealth and the Connector. The rules have not changed since January 2014. The revisions are attempting yet again to make incomprehensible rules comprehensible. Still bewildered? Please let Vicky know for future revisions.

Attached are the updated Federal Poverty Standards for the Connector Programs (Connector Care and Qualified Health Plans) for the Open Enrollment period beginning November 1st .

The actual effective date for eligibility purposes is January 1st, but enrollment for January starts in November.

Income Maximization for the Working Poor Families and Individuals

Wednesday, October 28, 2015: 9:15 to 1:15 pm

We encourage you to read and share broadly the FRAC Plan of Action to End Hunger in America, including with state and federal elected officials and the media. With the national elections heating up and increased media attention to income inequality, now is a perfect time to have a broader discussion with the local organizations you work, local reporters, family and friends, and especially with your members of Congress.  

1. Substance use disorder services 

Last year a state law improving substance use disorder services was enacted (c. 258 St. 2014). A provision requiring MassHealth & MassHealth managed care plans to cover detox and up to 14 day crisis stabilization services without prior authorization took effect on Oct 1, 2015.

Please see email from Frank Martinez Nocito re second round of FINI grants announced by USDA. If your organization is interested in applying, please contact Frank at DTA directly.

And REMINDER

First, the good news ... for now. SNAP benefits for families and individuals currently receiving SNAP will not be impacted in October. The U.S. Congress on Wednesday voted to avert a government shutdown just hours before a midnight deadline, passing a stop-gap measure to extend funding for federal agencies until Dec. 11. Read the MSN article on Congress Passing Funding Bill. We will continue to follow the federal funding for SNAP and will update the Coalition on any possible impacts to SNAP recipients. [Editor's Note: Link is no longer active]