What To Expect in The Mail From MassHealth
If you have insurance through MassHealth, be on the lookout in the coming months for a blue envelope in your mail.
Hundreds of thousands people are being dropped from Medicaid MassHealth over the next year. Federal continuous coverage requirements for Medicaid that have been in place since March 2020 will expire and the state will go through the required reneweal process for the first time since the pandemic began. The Healey administration expects that MassHealth membership will drop from its current amount of more than 2.3 million people to about 1.9 million people over the next year, freeing up $1.9 billion in fiscal year 2024 state spending.
Mike Levine, MassHealth assistant secretary, said on Thursday that an estimated 50 percent of MassHealth members can be automatically renewed. Those members will get a letter in the mail telling them that their eligibility has been renewed and that no action is needed of them.
“For the subset of members where we cannot automatically process their renewal, we are going to be sending a blue envelope that hopefully is hard to miss,” Levine said. “That will include a form with all the information we need from them that they need to return to us. They can send it back via the mail, they can call us, they can go online, there are many, many channels that members have to get MassHealth the information that we need. But we want to make it as clear and bold and visible for members as possible that there’s this blue envelope that indicates that you need to take action.”
Since it has been three years since failure to respond to a letter from MassHealth has put members at risk of losing their coverage, Levine said MassHealth has already begun reaching out to members “to make sure people understand that there will be repercussions for their coverage if they don’t respond to information requested in that blue envelope.”
They are also preparing to handle the higher number of interactions with members. “We are doubling the number of contact customer service representatives that we have at our call centers, we are staffing up our eligibility centers to make sure that members can get the support with their applications that they need, we are hiring additional staff to process paper applications since we expect a higher volume, we are doing everything within our power to make sure that we can meet the higher volume that we expect over this period,” he said. Levine added, “Small things that tend to trip members up in the application process, we’re trying to streamline as much as possible and, again, get more folks automatically renewed where appropriate.”
Levine said Thursday that it is important for people to know that getting a blue envelope in the mail does not mean you have lost your coverage.
“You have 45 days from when you get a piece of mail from us to respond. If we need more information, then you get another 90 days to provide that follow-up. And then if we don’t have what we need or it seems like the right decision is that you’re no longer eligible, then you have another 14 days prior to actually losing coverage,” he said. “And then after that, there’s actually something called a 90-day reconsideration period where if we didn’t hear from you, but then you found our envelope later and you call and say, ‘no, no, I’m still eligible,’ you actually have 90 days where then we’ll reinstate you back to when you lost coverage.”
That 14-day window between when MassHealth determines that someone is no longer eligible and when they actually lose coverage is critical, he said.
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We understand how difficult it can be to navigate the MassHealth system, and that's why we want to help. If you or someone you know is at risk of losing their Medicaid benefits, we urge you to reach out to our law firm for assistance. We can help draft the renewal application to ensure that all necessary information is included and that it is submitted on time.