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Count down to Jan 1, 2014

As we move closer to Jan 1, 2014, there is a lot going on to implement the Affordable Care Act (national health reform a/k/a ObamaCare) here in Massachusetts.
 
1. Starting on Oct 18, the Connector sent out enrollment packets to about 120,000 people most of whom will have to reapply and re-enroll to remain insured on Jan. 1 when Commonwealth Care, the Medical Security Program (for people collecting unemployment) & the Insurance Partnership end. If your clients get one of these enrollment packets from the Connector, they need to take action now to remain insured in 2014.
 
2. On Nov 1, MassHealth started sending out an advance notice of a change in coverage to about 300,000 people who are now enrolled in MassHealth Basic and Essential, Commonwealth Care (about half of those in CC; the other half got the Connector packet), or the Health Safety Net who will be automatically switched over to another type of MassHealth on Jan. 1, 2014. This letter has a pink banner across the top to help distinguish it from the Connector's notice. If your clients get one of the pink banner MassHealth advance notices, they don't have to do anything extra to remain insured in 2014. Of course they should notify MassHealth of any address change or other change in circumstances.
 
**80% of people now enrolled in MassHealth will NOT have their coverage changing, will NOT get a letter, & do NOT have to do anything extra to stay enrolled.**
 
3. People on the Health Safety Net (HSN) or Children's Medical Security Plan (CMSP) who get the Connector notice have the opportunity to apply for better coverage, but if they do nothing they will still be eligible for HSN & CMSP. 
 
4. Resources:
If your clients need to reapply and need help to do it, the following websites lists Navigators and Certified Application Counselors who can help with applications. https://www.mahealthconnector.org/help-center
 
5. Rule-making.  
MassHealth published an extensive set of proposed changes to HSN and MassHealth regulations.  Comments were due Nov. 5.  We will be posting the detailed comments filed by MLRI and GBLS along with other advocacy organizations soon on the masslegalservices.org website. 
 
Still to come is the public hearing Nov 21 and comment period until Nov 22 on the Connector's proposed regulations for ConnectorCare, the program replacing Commonwealth Care. 
 
Also coming up proposed rule changes on the Student Health Insurance Program, public hearing Nov 19, and comments (oddly) accepted until Nov 15.
 
6. And don't forget Nov 20 is our annual Basic Benefit Training on Health Access programs in which MLRI, & our colleagues at HCFA & GBLS will give an advocacy-oriented perspective on the changes in health access programs for 2014. You can register here: