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GOOD NEWS !!! Congrats to DTA and all the members of the Food SNAP Coalition!

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From: Song, Paulette (EHS)
Sent: Wednesday, January 05, 2011 2:44 PM
To: Song, Paulette (EHS)
Subject: MASSACHUSETTS RANKS IN NATION'S TOP TEN FOR SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITIONAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) PARTICIPATION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 5, 2011

CONTACT: Paulette Song, 617-573-1610; paulette.song@state.ma.us

1. Bridge funded through June 2011.

Attached is a copy of a member notice that MassHealth sent out in December. It corrects information in an earlier May notice about the limitation in MassHealth payment for inpatient hospital days to 20 days. It makes clear that MassHealth-eligible patients hospitalized for longer than 20 days will NOT be liable for the additional hospital days due to the 20-day payment limit.

Listed below are 4 updates on national health reform litigation & small employer tax credits; a fair hearing decision regarding newish MassHealth "program integrity" policies to identify non-residents, and the change in state law limiting the dates when certain individuals can buy individual insurance on their own.

Dear Food SNAP Coalition Members:

As many of you know, the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) bill passed successfully and was signed by the President yesterday. FRAC is hosting a series of webinars for anti-hunger advocates to learn about the changes in the CNR and we can do in Massachusetts and around the country to maximize participation. Below is the annoucement and webinar registration information (this is a FREE webinar).

Pat

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) is hosting the FY2012 budget hearing on Monday, December 13th in Boston (and a second hearing in Western Mass, TBA).

The following email is from the Food Research Action Center or FRAC:  frac.org

Thanks to the hard work of Governor Patrick, EOHHS, DTA, our Congressional Delegation (lead by Congressman Jim McGovern), Senator John Kerry and members of the Food SNAP Coalition, USDA has agreed to NOT require states to reduce SNAP benefits on January 1st!  This three month extension will allow SNAP benefits to be calculated using the higher utility allowance through March 31, 2011. 

This is a brief announcement with two upcoming training events in December:

Wednesday, December 8
Income Maximization for the Working Poor (Families and Individuals). This is the sixth in the series of Basic Benefits Trainings held at Mass Continuing Legal Education in Boston, from 9:30 - 1 PM. The session focuses on various supplemental benefits and assistance programs to help working families and individuals maximize their income and reduce their expenses. You can register in advance, or the day of the event.

Today, tomorrow and early next week are opportune times to communicate with the Massachusetts delegation and their staff about the important of protecting the SNAP program and ensuring alternate funding for Child Nutrition. Members of Congress are coming back to work next week (during the "lame duck session") to take up this and a number of critical budget and legislative issues. The core message to Congress is a strong two-fold ask: pass the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Bill and fix the SNAP cut in a separate legislative vehicle!