Like all states, Massachusetts received enhanced federal Medicaid funding under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the first major federal stimulus package passed by Congress in response to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. As a condition of receiving these funds, Massachusetts is required to maintain continuous coverage in MassHealth (the name for Massachusetts’ Medicaid program and Children’s Health Insurance Program) during the federal COVID-19 public health emergency.
Continuous coverage means that once individuals have established their MassHealth eligibility, they remain enrolled in MassHealth regardless of changes in their circumstances that may otherwise impact eligibility. The continuous coverage requirement has allowed Americans with lower income to retain Medicaid coverage and get needed health care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the federal Medicaid continuous coverage requirement expires (which is currently slated for July 14, 2022), MassHealth will resume updating members’ eligibility based on the redetermination process, which has been paused in most cases for almost two years. As MassHealth begins to redetermine eligibility for a considerable volume of its members, there is a high risk that some individuals who remain eligible for coverage will become uninsured.
In “The End of the Federal Continuous Coverage Requirement in MassHealth: Key Strategies for Reducing Coverage Loss,” an issue brief prepared for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and its Massachusetts Medicaid Policy Institute, Manatt Health describes MassHealth’s multiprong plan to help reduce unnecessary coverage loss after the continuous coverage requirement expires and describes additional strategies that MassHealth and other stakeholders can take to ensure that people who remain eligible stay covered.
To read the full issue brief, click here.