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Health Update for Oct 12, 2022

Health Announce Oct 12, 2022

We mourn the passing of Paul Spooner who died unexpectedly last weekend after a lifetime of effective advocacy for the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. https://mwcil.org/obituary-paul-w-spooner/

ADA Class Action Filed to Compel Massachusetts to Stop Unnecessary Institutionalization of People with Disabilities Six individuals and Mass. Senior Action Council are the plaintiffs represented by CPR, GBLS, Justice in Aging, and Foley Hoag in this class action lawsuit filed on Oct 11, 2022. 

No Family Glitch for Open Enrollment 2023

Just in time for OE 2023, the IRS is fixing the “family glitch.” The new rule amends the regulations regarding eligibility for the premium tax credit to provide that the affordability of employer coverage for family members of an employee is determined based on the employee’s share of the cost of covering the employee and those family members. (The old rule did not consider the added cost of family coverage). 

Open Enrollment 2023 in Massachusetts will begin Nov 1, 2022 and end Jan 23, 2023. This is the time people can purchase non-group coverage for 2023 including ConnectorCare. It is also a time when people currently enrolled have an opportunity to change plans. 

The Health Connector has already sent out preliminary eligibility notices to 2022 members for 2023 coverage.  Every year, many people lose premium tax credits and/or ConnectorCare only because the Health Connector lacks the current income information it needs to renew coverage for the following year. Please be on the lookout of clients and patients who only need to update and verify their income to retain affordable coverage in 2023. 

This year’s renewal and enrollment process may be more confusing than usual because two plans have changed their names. There have also been some geographic changes.

·        The following 5 health plans (some with new names) will continue to offer ConnectorCare coverage in 2023 : 

o   AllWays Health Partners is changing its name to Mass General Brigham Health Plan 

o   BMC HealthNet Plan is changing its name to WellSense Health Plan

o   Fallon Health 

o   Health New England 

o   Tufts Direct 

·        Geographic changes

o   Health New England (HNE) will withdraw its ConnectorCare participation in Worcester County

• HNE’s 2022 Worcester County ConnectorCare membership – approximately 4,000 members – will be auto-renewed into the lowest-cost ConnectorCare plan available to them in 2023, which, for the majority of Worcester County members, will be BMC/WellSense 

• Tufts Direct and Fallon will be  additional ConnectorCare offerings available to members in Worcester County in 2023 

o   Additionally, Fallon will newly cover Middlesex County in full beginning in 2023

 COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

We should learn by the end of this week how long the next renewal of the COVID-19 PHE will be; it can be renewed for up to 90 days at a time. The renewal will be posted here The Secretary has also promised to give at least 60 days’ notice of the end of the PHE. When the Secretary gives that notice, it will begin the process of “unwinding” the Medicaid continuous coverage protection. We expect MassHealth to be releasing its unwinding plan soon. 

Oct 26 1-3 Public meeting with MassHealth on the 1115 Demonstration Extension MassHealth will hold a public meeting to discuss the recent federal of the MassHealth 1115 Demonstration for another 5 years.

SAVE THE DATE: Next Health Care Working Group Meeting Thursday Oct 27 at 3-4:30 (Please note this is a change from our usual date)