Reducing Coverage Loss: A 2023 Update on the End of the Federal Continuous Coverage Requirement in MassHealth

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This issue brief aims to educate stakeholders and policymakers about an upcoming federal policy change that could impact coverage for many MassHealth members. 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 was required to maintain continuous coverage in MassHealth during the federal COVID-19 public health emergency. In December 2022, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 which established March 31, 2023 as the end date of the continuous coverage requirement.

Since the federal continuous coverage requirement will expire at the end of March, MassHealth is preparing to redetermine eligibility for all members starting April 1, 2023. As MassHealth begins to redetermine eligibility for a considerable volume of members, there is a risk that some individuals who remain eligible for coverage could become uninsured. This issue brief includes a summary of MassHealth’s eligibility and enrollment approach for when it resumes normal eligibility and redetermination processes and describes strategies that MassHealth and other stakeholders are taking to ensure that people who remain eligible stay covered.