SPRINGFIELD — Don’t delay responding to communication from MassHealth if you want to keep your coverage, health insurance leaders visiting Springfield advised Wednesday.
Representatives from MassHealth, Massachusetts Health Connector, Health Care For All and local officials gathered at the State Office Building on Dwight Street to discuss with residents and their advocates the ongoing redetermination process and detail efforts in Western Massachusetts to ensure that enrollees can stay covered.
Since the outset of the pandemic in March 2020, and in response to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, MassHealth suspended eligibility redeterminations and continued members’ health care coverage throughout the entire public health emergency.
On Monday, Gov. Maura T. Healey told The Republican that redeterminations have returned, now that the pandemic is over. The eligibility reassessments began in April and will continue throughout 2024.
Redetermination “basically means realigning people with other forms of insurance,” Healey said.
“The fact is some will move off MassHealth,” Healey said. “2.3 million residents are on MassHealth, about a third of the state’s population of nearly 7 million. So, there are going to be a few hundred thousand who are going to move off MassHealth.”
An estimated 2.4 million members could go through the redetermination process, and the goal is to preserve the state’s universal health care, said MassHealth Assistant Secretary Mike Levine. About 300,000 people could lose coverage, but it is too soon to say, he said.
About 97% of residents in the commonwealth have health insurance because state leaders have championed it, noted Audrey Morse Gasteier, Massachusetts Health Connector executive director.
“We don’t want to lose ground during the redetermination process,” said Maria Gonzalez Albuixech, Health Care For All director of communications and community engagement.
MassHealth and its partners are working on the ground in 15 communities that have the greatest number of members enrolled to inform them about the redetermination process. They’re able to communicate with commonwealth residents in nine different languages.
Teams, or “navigators,” will be going door-to-door with the campaign message to ensure support is provided in the most vulnerable communities, such as older adults, refugees and people experiencing homelessness or with disabilities. According to Jason Lefferts, a Health Connector spokesperson, the real focus will be on having navigators and other assisters on hand to help people who need coverage the most.
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