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Eligibility for people age 65 and older and people who need long-term-care services

Learn about health care eligibility requirements for individuals age 65 or older or people who need long-term-care services.

To find out if you are eligible, you must complete an application. 

You can learn more about how to apply for MassHealth for seniors or those who need long-term-care or to MassHealth, the Health Safety Net, or the Children's Medical Security Plan. If you need completing the application, you can find assistance in your area

Basic requirements for coverage

Residency

You must be a resident of Massachusetts to get MassHealth or other health care benefits that are funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

You meet the residency requirements if:

  • You live in Massachusetts and either intend to reside in Massachusetts, with or without a fixed address, or have entered Massachusetts with a job commitment or seeking employment

You do not meet the residency requirements if you are visiting Massachusetts:

  • For personal pleasure, such as vacation, or
  • To receive medical care in a setting other than a nursing facility

Citizenship or immigration status

When deciding if you are eligible for benefits, MassHealth also looks at your citizenship or immigration status. To get MassHealth coverage, your U.S. citizenship or eligible immigration status must be verified. If you do not provide this information, you may be considered for fewer benefits. For more details about U.S. citizenship and immigration rules, see the Senior Guide for Health Care Coverage.

Financial

Generally, MassHealth looks at the income and assets of both you and your spouse. Income and assets rules differ for each type of MassHealth program. For more information, see Program financial guidelines for certain MassHealth applicants and members.

Categories of coverage

MassHealth offers different types of coverage based on whether you are:

  • 65 years of age or older and need personal-care-attendant services in order to live at home, or 
  • 65 years of age or older and are disabled and are either working 40 or more hours a month, or are currently working and have worked at least 240 hours in the 6 months immediately before the month of the application, or
  • Not working
  • Living at home and you do not need long-term care
  • Living at home and you need long-term services and supports under a Home- and Community-Based Services Waiver, or
  • In or waiting to go into a long-term-care facility

For detailed information about each of these programs, see the Senior Guide for Health Care Coverage.

 If this information does not apply to you, learn more about MassHealth for individuals, families, and people with disabilities.

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