The End Of The Federal Continuous Coverage Requirement In MassHealth: Key Strategies For Reducing Coverage Loss | Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

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INTRODUCTION –

Like all states, Massachusetts received enhanced federal Medicaid funding under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), 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 [CHIP]) during the federal COVID-19 public health emergency. Continuous coverage means that once someone has established their MassHealth eligibility, they remain enrolled in MassHealth regardless of changes in their circumstances that may otherwise impact eligibility. The continuous coverage requirement, which applies to individuals enrolled in Medicaid as of March 18, 2020, or who were determined eligible on or after that date, has allowed Americans with lower income to retain Medicaid coverage and get needed health care during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due in part to the continuous coverage requirement, MassHealth enrollment has grown considerably during the COVID-19 pandemic. From February 2020 through February 2022, total MassHealth enrollment grew by 24.5 percent, from 1,757,221 to 2,188,239 members.

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