offered by

MassHealth: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) —Applicants and Members

COVID-19 related information for MassHealth members and applicants.

In response to COVID-19, and to support the health and safety of our members and staff, all MassHealth Enrollment sites will be closed for walk-in visitors until further notice. If MassHealth members or applicants need support or have any questions they should contact the Customer Service Center at (800) 841-2900; TTY: (800) 497-4648. In addition, applicants can apply for benefits online at www.mahealthconnector.org

Table of Contents

Members

You will not lose your MassHealth coverage during the COVID-19 national emergency
If you have received a notice in the mail that your coverage is ending on or after March 18, your coverage is protected and will not end during the national emergency. You do not need to send in any additional paperwork to keep your coverage.

If you are not feeling well or have symptoms of COVID-19
Contact your health care provider before going in person for a medical visit. You can also visit www.mass.gov/how-to/check-your-symptoms-for-covid-19-online for online support or call 2-1-1 for additional guidance. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

MassHealth covers testing and treatment for all coverage types and health plans
No matter which MassHealth coverage type or health plan you have, MassHealth will cover testing and treatment for COVID-19. If you have Health Safety Net, you should seek services through a community health center or hospital.

Coverage for telehealth services
During the COVID-19 outbreak, MassHealth is covering telehealth services for both physical and behavioral health when appropriate. Contact your health care provider to discuss what phone or video options may be available for your needs.

Pharmacy Services
MassHealth is also allowing early refills and 90-day supplies of medications, as well as medication delivery, during the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact your pharmacist to discuss these options.

If you are enrolled in a health plan through an Accountable Care Organization, Senior Care Option plan, or other managed care entity
You can receive independent support through the MyOmbudsman program. An ombudsman can help you access services through your health plan, answer concerns or questions, and ensure you can access your benefits. For the health and safety of staff and members, the MyOmbudsman is suspending all walk-in visits, but can be reached via phone at 855-781-9898, via videophone at 339-224-6831, and via email at info@myombudsman.org

Guidance for Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Consumers
If you or a loved one is a MassHealth member who receives PCA services and is struggling to access the care you need, call MassOptions’ dedicated hotline at (844) 422-6277 to be connected to services.

Guidance for Families with Children Receiving Behavioral Health Services At Home or in the Community
MassHealth has created an FAQ document to support families who have questions about their child's home or community-based behavioral health care PDF | Word

Applicants

If you have experienced a loss of wages due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and think you may be eligible for MassHealth benefits, you can apply for MassHealth online if you are under the age of 65 and do not require long term care.

If you have any questions about how to apply, or are over the age of 65 or need long term care, please call our Customer Service Center at (800) 841-2900; TTY: (800) 497-4648.

General Prevention Guidance

Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. These include washing your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and staying home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

You can help also prevent COVID-19 with social distancing. Stay home as much as you can and if you must go out: Don’t gather in groups, stay six feet away from others, and don’t shake hands or hug.

For information can be found on the Department of Public Health COVID-19 website.

Frequently Asked Questions for Members and Applicants

What is coronavirus (COVID-19) and how would I know if I have it?
For information on COVID-19, how it spreads, who is at risk, and how you can help prevent the spread of the disease, visit the Department of Public Health’s website: mass.gov/2019coronavirus.

Will I lose my MassHealth benefits during the COVID-19 outbreak?
No, your MassHealth coverage will be protected throughout the COVID-19 outbreak national emergency. As of March 18, 2020, MassHealth will not end coverage for any member or any person who is approved for coverage during the COVID-19 outbreak national emergency and for one month after the emergency period ends. 

I received a letter in the mail saying my coverage was ending soon. How can I keep my coverage during this outbreak?
If your coverage extends through at least March 18, 2020, your coverage is protected and will not be terminated during the COVID-19 outbreak national emergency and for one month after the emergency period ends. You do not need to send in any additional paperwork to keep your coverage. If you have questions about your coverage, contact our Customer Service Center at (800) 841-2900 TTY: (800) 497-4648.

If I have questions about my coverage, where should I go?
To help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and for the health and safety of all MassHealth members and staff, we recommend that individuals call MassHealth rather than walk in to our site at this time. You can call the MassHealth Customer Service Center at (800) 841-2900 TTY: (800) 497-4648.

To apply for MassHealth benefits online, visit the MA Health Connector’s website at www.mahealthconnector.org.

I would like to appeal my eligibility decision. How should I do that?
We recommend that individuals attend their appeal over the phone with the Board of Hearings at (617) 847-1200 or toll free at (800) 655-0338.

Will MassHealth pay for a COVID-19 test?
Yes, MassHealth covers all medically necessary lab tests when your health care provider orders one. If you think you are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, contact your health care provider, or call 2-1-1 for guidance.

Will I get a bill for a COVID-19 test or treatment?
No. MassHealth does not require members to pay a copay for most services including lab tests, appointments with your primary care provider or behavioral health provider, and specialist visits.

If I think I have COVID-19 or have been exposed to the virus, should I go in to my doctor’s office or the emergency department?
Contact your health care provider, use a free online tool to check your symptoms through the Mass.gov website, or call 2-1-1 for guidance. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

I don’t have insurance. How can I get covered?
You can apply for MassHealth or the Health Connector online at www.mahealthconnector.org or call MassHealth’s Customer Service Center at (800) 841-2900 TTY: (800) 497-4648.

The Health Connector has opened enrollment to all uninsured residents and is accepting applications until April 25. To apply online, visit: www.mahealthconnector.org

I don’t have insurance and I think I might have COVID-19. What should I do?
Contact your health care provider, use a free online tool to check your symptoms through the Mass.gov website, or call 2-1-1 for guidance. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

Do not forgo medical care if you think you might have COVID-19. COVID-19 testing for uninsured individuals is completely covered by Medicaid. 

Can I use telehealth or talk to my provider on the phone instead of going in to the office for a regular, non-COVID-19 related visit?
Contact your provider before any in-person visit to discuss options for that visit. During this period of COVID-19 spread, you can receive care via telehealth, which includes phone calls and live video conversations (such as FaceTime or Zoom).

If I need to stay home for two weeks or longer, can I get an early refill of my medications?
MassHealth now allows early refills and 90-day supplies of medications. Talk to your pharmacist to discuss what options are best for you.

Can I still receive transportation services through my PT-1?
Yes, transportation services remain available for MassHealth members with a PT-1. However, to make sure the non-emergency transportation system is able to support those most in need, we strongly encourage members to receive care via telehealth or over the phone rather than an in-person visit, when appropriate. Contact your provider to discuss what telehealth or phone options are available to you.

I experienced a loss of wages due to COVID-19. Should I report this to MassHealth?
Report any change of circumstance, including change in income, to MassHealth as soon as possible by calling the Customer Service Center at (800) 841-2900; TTY: (800) 497-4648. You may be newly eligible for MassHealth or eligible for a different benefit level.

Will the money I get from the federal government through their stimulus package impact my MassHealth eligibility? Will the additional unemployment money I receive impact my eligibility?
No. The direct payment from the federal government through the stimulus package will not impact your eligibility. Standard unemployment benefits will count towards eligibility, but the additional $600 per month allocated by the federal government in their stimulus package will not count towards your eligibility. The best way to find out if you are eligible for MassHealth benefits is to apply online at http://www.mahealthconnector.org

Will COVID-19 testing or treatment hurt my chances at getting a green card or changing my immigration status because of the public charge rule?
No- the federal government has said that it will not consider testing, treatment, or preventive care related to COVID-19 as part of their public charge determination, even if it is provided or paid for by public benefits like Medicaid.

If you think that you may have COVID-19, do not forego medical care. Contact your health care provider, use a free online tool to check your symptoms through the Mass.gov website, or call 2-1-1 for guidance. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

If you have other questions about the public charge rule and MassHealth, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/information-about-the-public-charge-rule-and-how-it-may-impact-you-0

I receive care in my home and my caregiver says they are sick and cannot come into my home. What should I do?
If you do not have a back-up caregiver available, contact your health care provider to discuss what services may be available to you or call the MassOptions hotline at (844) 422-6277 to be connected to services. If you are experiencing an emergency or need immediate medical care, call 9-1-1.

I receive care in my home and am showing symptoms of COVID-19. Should I still have my caregiver come into my home?
Call your caregiver to discuss your symptoms and whether they are equipped to provide appropriate and safe care to you. If they are not equipped to safely provide care, contact your health care provider to discuss what services may be available to you. If you are experiencing an emergency or need immediate medical care, call 9-1-1.

My community day program closed. What should I do?
Contact your community day program to discuss whether or not they will be providing some services in the home or through telehealth or over the phone. In addition, contact your medical provider to discuss what alternative services may be available to you. If you are experiencing an emergency or need immediate medical care, call 9-1-1.

My loved one is in a nursing facility. Can I visit them?
Follow the guidance released by the Department of Public Health regarding visitation to nursing or rest homes: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-guidance-and-recommendations#for-long-term-care-facilities-  and contact the nursing facility directly for additional guidance.

 

Helpful Links

For advocates and individuals who support others with applications or eligibility:

  • Eligibility Operations Memo 20-07: Updates to Hospital-Determined Presumptive Eligibility (HPE) Application Process PDF | Word
  • Eligibility Operations Memo 20-06: Updates to the Hospital-Determined Presumptive Eligibility (HPE) Application Process PDF | WORD

Other helpful links: 

For the latest MA-specific information on the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Apply for MH benefits online: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-masshealth-the-health-safety-net-or-the-childrens-medical-security-plan

MassHealth application (paper): https://www.mass.gov/doc/massachusetts-application-for-health-and-dental-coverage-and-help-paying-costs-0/download

MassHealth Senior and Long Term Care Application: https://www.mass.gov/doc/application-for-health-coverage-for-seniors-and-people-needing-long-term-care-services-0/download

Medicare Savings Program Application: https://www.mass.gov/doc/masshealth-buy-in-for-people-who-are-eligible-for-medicare-0/download

DPH Coronavirus website: www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus

CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Feedback