As MassHealth redetermines eligibility for its members throughout the state, local hospitals and community care centers are working to inform and educate the public about the renewal process.

MassHealth, Massachusetts’ version of the Medicaid program, implemented continuous coverage protections in response to COVID-19. But the federal emergency is scheduled to end later this spring, which will halt continuous Medicaid enrollment on Friday and begin the process of rechecking the eligibility of every member.

MassHealth membership has grown from 1.8 million to 2.3 million since the start of the pandemic three years ago. Earlier this month, Gov. Maura Healey estimated that about 400,000 people will lose benefits due to eligibility reassessment, freeing up $1.9 billion in fiscal 2024 for state spending. According to Healey’s proposed supplemental budget, $3.5 million will be used to support the redetermination process.

Starting April 1, all current MassHealth members must renew their coverage over 12 months. Residents can expect to receive a blue envelope that includes a form for them to respond to and return within 45 days, or face losing current benefits.

“It’s basically to allow them to update their information and update their household income and any other circumstances that may have changed to see if they still qualify for MassHealth or what they’re qualified for if they do not,” said Hannah Frigand, director of education and enrollment services at Health Care For All.

If the agency requires additional information, members will have additional 90 days to provide it. Before losing coverage, members have another 14 days to submit the necessary information or be declared ineligible.

Frigand said the length of renewal forms will differ for different populations — members over 65 will not receive a form that contains information already filled in.

“There’s a shorter renewal form,” she said. “It’s about 10 pages for a lot of people who live in the community. But then there is a longer form for people who might be living in a nursing home or have other circumstances where they might need to fill out more information about their household or their circumstances.”

Find the full article on the Milford Daily News.