McCormack Speaks

May 1, 2019
by saadiaahmad001
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MassHealth Yearly Coverage Renewal Process

By Carla Thomas, MPA Student

Applying for MassHealth is time-consuming and can be very stressful on both applicants and their families. The moments of waiting to learn which plan one qualifies for, or especially being denied the very coverage that one is in need of, is all quite a very overwhelming and difficult experience.  After having to go through this crucial application torture comes a yearly renewal process that is a burden for people with severe mental and physical disabilities. Their health and financial status will likely not change, or if they do, it might not make that much of a difference in their eligibility status.

After gathering some information from a phone conversation with a MassHealth agent, I now understand that people do have the option of setting their account automatically, so that the account gets updated yearly on its own and clients don’t have to deal with the extra renewal paper work. I can only wonder if half of MassHealth clients have ever been properly informed of this option.  I understand the sole purpose of having clients renew their coverage yearly is to learn if they have a new address of social security number, if their federal tax return was filled out, if there was a change in immigration or citizenship status — in other words, new information that needs to be updated.  There should be an easier option for people with disabilities and for the elderly.  Either their age or disability could qualify them for not having to go through the renewal process, or maybe it should be less of a burden to them.

Basically, for those who didn’t choose the automatic option, they are on their very own regardless of their health status. They either rely on family help or local community agencies. But, in addition to their daily health struggles, they have to remember to renew their MassHealth yearly, otherwise the coverage might be jeopardized or frozen.  I learned that clients have a 45-day period, giving them enough time to take action and send the renewal paper work.

It sounds like a very easy task for someone like myself who’s somewhat healthy and has no medical barrier.  I can only wish that such a large agency as MassHealth — whose mission is to help people in need — would spare those with severe health issues having to deal with extra paper work yearly.  If you know someone who may need help filling out the renewal application, you can help them connect to a MassHealth representative at 800-841-2900, help them look for an Enrollment Center,  or you can simply help them with the renewal application.

Below is the link from Mass.gov regarding MassHealth’s coverage renewal. If you or your loved ones know seniors or persons with disabilities who are currently receiving MassHealth coverage, please share this information with them.

https://www.mass.gov/how-to/renew-your-coverage-for-masshealth-the-health-safety-net-or-the-childrens-medical-security

November 7, 2017
by McCormack Speaks
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An Insider’s Look at Battle Over Future of Affordable Care Act, Medicaid

This blog originally appeared on the Gerontology Institute blog, written by Steven Syreimage of a doctor in a lab coat

The future of federal policy toward health care, potentially affecting many millions of Americans, became the hottest of all front-burner issues immediately following Election Day last year.

The next president had made repeal of the Affordable Care Act a leading priority of his campaign. Republican legislators who controlled both the House and Senate were eager to make it happen. Plans to drastically cut Medicaid funding were in the works.

None of this was lost on health care advocates who had campaigned for passage of the ACA and later worked to help implement the law now enabling health insurance coverage for millions of Americans with financial support from Medicaid.

“Everything we had been doing for the past seven or eight years was threatened,” said Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, at an October 30 meeting of the Department of Gerontology Speaker Series at UMass Boston’s McCormack Graduate School.

Read more.

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