SENIOR LOOKOUT: MassHealth coverage changing | News
In 2020, the federal government declared a public health emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, MassHealth put protections in place that prevented members’ MassHealth coverage ending during the emergency. Now that the federal public health emergency is ending, MassHealth will return to the standard annual eligibility renewal processes. As a result, all current MassHealth members must renew their health coverage to ensure they still qualify for their current benefits. These renewals will take place over 12 months.
MassHealth will communicate about this redetermination requirement to existing members in two phases. The first phase will notify all MassHealth members that everyone enrolled in MassHealth must renew their application, and that MassHealth is taking steps to help avoid gaps in coverage. The second phase will educate members on the process involved in re-enrolling and provide information about insurance options available to those who are no longer eligible for MassHealth.
MassHealth members are encouraged to prepare for this review by taking the following steps.
Update your contact information. Make sure MassHealth has your current address, phone number, and email so you do not miss important information and notices from MassHealth.
Report any household changes. These include a new job, address, changes to your income, disability status, or pregnancy. MassHealth wants to make sure they have the latest information for you and all members of your household, so you get the best benefit.
Create an MA Login Account. This is the fastest way to renew MassHealth coverage, update information, and report changes to your household. Current members younger than 65 may create an account by following the link provided on the back of MassHealth notices or by visiting mass.gov/masshealthlogin. MassHealth members 65 and older are encouraged to call 800-841-2900 to update their account.
Read all mail from MassHealth. MassHealth will mail you information about your health benefit that may require you to take action to keep your current coverage. Look out for a blue envelope in the mail and make note of the important deadlines.
MassHealth members who need help from a family member or friend to fill out their renewal paperwork will need to sign and submit a “Permission to Share Information” or “Authorized Representative Designation” form. This form allows MassHealth representatives to share eligibility information with the person(s) listed on the form. If a “Permission to Share Information” form was completed more than twelve months ago, a new form will need to be submitted.
While this redetermination period is occurring, MassHealth members are cautioned to be aware of the potential for scams. MassHealth may reach out to you about your health coverage, but will never threaten you or your family or ask for your credit card information. If you receive a call, text, or email that threatens you or your family, warns of legal action, demands immediate payment, requires payment by gift card, prepaid debit card, internet currency, or cash, pressures you for personal information, requests secrecy, or threatens to seize your bank account, it may be a scam. If you think a scammer may have contacted you, call MassHealth at 800-841-2900 (TTY: 711).
MassHealth has accommodations for older adults and people with disabilities, including:
A Disability Ombudsman that can provide personal assistance by explaining MassHealth processes and requirements and helping applicants or members filling out forms over the telephone. The Ombudsman can also arrange meetings with MassHealth staff, sign language interpretation, or CART services. The Ombudsman can be reached at ADAaccomodations@state.ma.us; Voice: 617-847-3468, TTY: 617-847-3788
The option to request large print or braille renewal forms by calling MassHealth Customer Service at 800-841-2900 (TTY: 711)
On-demand Video Remote Interpreting and Assistive Listening Devices at all MassHealth Enrollment Centers
If you have questions, need help with your MassHealth coverage, or if you have lost coverage, please contact MassHealth Customer Service at 800-841-2900 (TTY: 711).
Tracy Arabian is the communications officer at SeniorCare Inc., a local agency on aging that serves Gloucester, Beverly, Essex, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Rockport, Topsfield and Wenham.