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Immigration - MassHealth Use of SAVE System

SECTION 142.   Said chapter 131 is hereby further amended by striking out section 183 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

(a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the office of Medicaid within the executive office of health and human services shall: (i) continue to implement the state option provided by section 1902(ee) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. section 1396a(ee), to verify the citizenship or nationality of MassHealth applicants declaring to be United States citizens or nationals; and (ii) register for the federal Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements, or SAVE, system and shall use that system to verify whether MassHealth applicants whose documentation is not available or is questionable are qualified aliens for benefit eligibility purposes.

(b) The office of Medicaid shall, on or before December 31, 2011, provide a written report to the senate and house committees on ways and means and the executive office for administration and finance detailing the specific steps it has undertaken to implement SAVE, the other departments it worked with to implement such steps and, if it was unable to implement the program by that date, the specific reasons it has been unable to implement the SAVE program as required by this section and a proposed schedule for implementation. Should the office of Medicaid find that it is not able to implement the SAVE system prior to January 1, 2012, it shall continue to undertake all reasonable, cost-effective measures to verify the eligibility of applicants, including ensuring eligibility on the basis of citizenship, during all times it is not implementing the SAVE system and shall continue to implement a cost effective system that utilizes SAVE.

(c) Consistent with federal and state law and notwithstanding clause (ii) of subsection (a), the registration for the SAVE system pursuant to this section may be incorporated into a system for the executive office of health and human services and all agencies organized therein to determine common eligibility standards for applicants; provided, however, that such system shall include registration for the SAVE system. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the development of a system of common eligibility standards that includes additional agencies outside the executive office of health and human services; provided, however, that such system shall include registration for the SAVE system. Annually, on or before December 31, or as further developments warrant, the executive office of health and human services or the executive office for administration and finance shall report to the senate and house committees on ways and means the status of efforts to implement a system to determine common eligibility standards for applicants.

(d) Annually, on or before December 31, the executive office of health and human services shall report to the senate and house committees on ways and means and the executive office for administration and finance the amount of money recovered from recipients, providers or other vendors who fraudulently received benefits or payments under chapter 118E of the General Laws.