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Health-Law-Announcements's Blog

The latest health law updates for advocates and social service providers in Massachusetts.

Please see the MassHealth alert below written in High Bureaucratese.  Apparently there was a glitch from an unspecified date that was detected in early March and fixed on March 17 affecting an unspecified number of people being redetermined or under deadlines to return verification documents that resulted in cases being closed without notice. 

The alert says that starting this week, MassHealth will be reinstating benefits back to the date of the no-notice closing and issuing new 14-day advance notices of termination. 

Attached please find a flyer about this year's Basic Benefit Training on Immigrants and Public Benefits coming up soon on March 30 in Boston.

This year we have added a new "Know Your Rights" session to address the increased fears in the immigrant community related to removal & deportation, and also a new session on language access.

The Repeal & Replace terrain is shifting but attached and linked below are some sources on last week's proposed House bill for your snow-bound reading on Tuesday.

We've posted on masslegalservices.org and attached MLRI's preliminary analysis of the initial House bill to repeal and replace the ACA and how it may affect MassHealth & the Connector. 

Some good information on the Medicaid Per Capita Allotment proposal and how it may affect Massachusetts prepared for the BCBS Foundation is posted here:

Committees in the House have now released the long threatened bill to repeal & replace the Affordable Care Act.

The most draconian change would fundamentally restructure the Medicaid program by reducing federal reimbursement to states through a new funding mechanism called a Per Capita Allotment starting in 2020. This goes beyond repealing the ACA --it's repealing the federal commitment to the states when Medicaid was enacted 50 years ago!

And what about the coverage gains under the ACA?

On Feb 24, MassHealth released two notices of proposed changes to two different LTSS services: Adult Foster Care & Personal Care Attendant Services. Each is scheduled for a public hearing at U Mass in Worcester on different days. The AFC public hearing is March 17. The PCA public hearing is March 20.

The notices of public hearing (including a high level summary of the changes), the proposed rules (the pdf is a redline version showing the changes) and a link to sign up to testify are posted on the MassHealth Proposed Regulation website here:

Attached are two charts.

  1. The MLRI MassHealth Income Chart.  This chart factors in the 5% MAGI income deduction to the various poverty levels.
  2. The MassHealth Desk Guide.  The MassHealth version of the income chart without the 5% MAGI numbers factored in

The charts can also be found in the Health Law section of the Mass Legal Services library, http://www.masslegalservices.org/content/masshealth-income-guidelines-effective-march-1-2017

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

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

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)

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