About the Program

The Healthy Start Program provides health insurance to low-income, uninsured pregnant women in order to improve access to early, comprehensive, and continuous prenatal care to improve the health of newborns and their mothers.

Populations Served

Healthy Start is for low-income, uninsured pregnant women who are also eligible for MassHealth Limited. Family-group income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level .

Service Offerings

The Healthy Start Program provides coverage for the following pregnancy-related services.

  • pregnancy-related primary and specialty visits
  • outpatient behavioral health visits
  • prescriptions
  • pregnancy-related radiology and laboratory services
  • amniocentesis
  • prescribed durable medical equipment, up to $300 per pregnancy
  • home nursing postpartum visits (limited to two visits for pregnancies without complications and limited to five visits for pregnancies with complications or C-sections)
  • office visits, including family planning
  • postpartum obstetric and gynecological care
  • newborn hospital and outpatient care including one postpartum pediatric ambulatory visit

Individuals enrolled in Healthy Start are also eligible for MassHealth Limited, which covers emergency services including inpatient labor and delivery and emergency transportation. In addition, Healthy Start members are eligible for the Health Safety Net (HSN), which covers some other medically necessary services at Massachusetts acute hospitals and community health centers for services not covered by the Healthy Start Program. A deductible, based on family size and income, may apply.

Healthy Start benefit limitations are based on a pregnancy basis, rather than a fiscal-year or lifetime basis. If a woman becomes pregnant again, and is eligible for the Healthy Start Program, she is eligible for these benefits.

Newborns born to mothers enrolled in Healthy Start and MassHealth Limited will receive MassHealth Standard benefits starting at birth through the first year of life.

Eligibility Criteria

Healthy Start criteria are

  • a pregnant woman, and
  • not eligible for MassHealth (except MassHealth Limited), and
  • have family-group income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level .

Find out if you might be eligible.

Application Process

Call MassHealth Customer Service at 1-800-841-2900 (TTY: 1-800-497-4648 for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled) to request a Medical Benefit Request (MBR), or click on the links below to download a MBR.

Submit the completed application to:

MassHealth Enrollment Center
Central Processing Unit
P.O. Box 290794
Charlestown, MA 02129-0214

Contact Information

MassHealth Customer Service: 1-800-841-2900 (TTY: 1-800-497-4648 for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled)
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Healthy Start Program Customer Service: 1-888-488-9161
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.

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This information is provided by MassHealth.