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Blog Archive for January 2017

Jan. 31 is the last day of "Open Enrollment"--the deadline for people to sign up for individual insurance (ObamaCare) or switch plans.  At the national level, HHS has pulled its ads urging people to sign up before it's too late.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/trump-white-house-obamacare-ads-234245

1. Governor's House 1 FY18 Budget Released - MLRI Analysis of the DTA, Health Care, Housing, Nutrition and Child Welfare Provisions

Hot off the press, here's our run down of key appropriations and outside sections. Please let us know if questions on specific items. 

/content/governors-fy-2018-budget-proposal-mlris-preliminary-analysis-selected-issues 

The Governor filed his proposed budget for State Fiscal Year 2018 yesterday. MLRI has prepared a preliminary analysis of key sections affecting low income people in several areas including proposals for MassHealth, ConnectorCare, CMSP and the Health Safety Net.  The analysis is posted here:

/content/governors-fy-2018-budget-proposal-mlris-preliminary-analysis-selected-issues

Some upbeat news!

We did not have a chance at yesterday's SNAP Coalition meeting to update folks on the great work being done by DTA and community orgs to launch a Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) in Massachusetts. HIP Project Director Frank Martinez-Nocito of DTA sent on the following information to be shared describing the project to boost the food resources for SNAP recipients. 

You or your clients can now use DTA Connect to send documents to DTA!

On Monday DTA released the second phase of DTA Connect, allowing clients to submit documents to DTA directly through the app!!

This is very exciting for our clients who have access to a smartphone. Sending DTA documents through the app is very, very useful because it connects the documents directly to the client's case. This means no one at the Document Management Center needs to look at them- so they can be reviewed more quickly by a DTA worker.

Forwarded here is info about notice from Connector to 7000 people who have to pay first month's bill to begin coverage on Feb 1 that they will have until Feb 10 to pay for Feb due to Connector delay mailing out bill (payments usually due by Jan 23 for Feb 1)

1) Co-Sponsors Needed for SNAP Gap/Common App Legislation

Representative Jay Livingstone and Senator Sal DiDomenico are each filing the SNAP Gap/Common App legislation: An Act Improving Public Health through a Common Application for Core Food, Health and Safety-net Programs

What you need to know:

  • Please urge your local Representative to sign on to co-sponsor Rep Livingstone's bill, House Docket #655, and Senator DiDomenico's Bill, Senate Docket #247. Attached is the fact sheet with Docket numbers. 

The new Trump Administration officially takes office on Friday, January 20th.  Please take a moment to read and sign onto the organizational sign on letter (see links below) from National Anti-Hunger Organizations.  This letter is for local and state organizations too!!  We need a STRONG showing of support from Massachusetts organizations to the Administration and incoming Congress.

Boston SNAP Coalition Meeting - Tuesday, January 24th from 10 to Noon, St Francis House, Boston 

Reminder regarding verifications: RSDI/SSI and self declarations for SNAP

We continue to hear from community partners about verification issues. Verifications are one of the biggest access barriers for our clients. It is very hard for our clients to get and maintain their benefits if DTA aks for documents that are not relevant or that have been previously submitted. Excessive and unnecessary verification requests also make a lot more work for DTA. 

Two areas where we see a lot of issues: