All Publications

What is the Actual State Cost of MassHealth in State Fiscal Year 2025?

As a program that provides publicly funded health benefits to more than 2 million low-income children and families, seniors, and people living with disabilities in Massachusetts, it is not surprising that MassHealth accounts for a large share of the state’s budget. However, a cursory review of the MassHealth budget can be misleading because it can obscure the billions of dollars in federal revenue that the program generates for the state.

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thumb report

Holding on to Home: A Primer on MassHealth Estate Recovery

Federal law requires states to recoup costs from certain Medicaid members’ estates – the money and possessions left after someone dies – if they received long-term services and supports (LTSS), such as care in a nursing facility or at home. But some states, including Massachusetts, exceed the federal minimum and recover the cost of all Medicaid-covered services that are provided to members over age 55. This means far more members are affected because it is not just limited to those who use LTSS.

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An Overview of Peer Health Care Professions in Massachusetts

Peer supports are an important component of the health care system in Massachusetts. Peers provide a vital bridge to services by offering empathy, information, encouragement, and navigational assistance to people who face linguistic and cultural access barriers, stigma, absence of a support network, and other challenges. Peers are part of the communities they serve and often share lived experiences with the individuals they work with, making them uniquely qualified to foster trust in the health care system where it might be lacking.

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Peer Workforce Thumb

Achieving a Racially and Ethnically Equitable Health Care Delivery System in Massachusetts: A Vision, Toolkit, and Proposed Action Plan

This report proposes a statewide Health Equity Action Plan that offers an organizing structure, process, and set of practical steps for collectively achieving a racially and ethnically equitable health care delivery system in Massachusetts. The Health Equity Action Plan is accompanied by a toolkit, which includes an illustrative set of interventions and best practices that providers, health care delivery system leaders, and other stakeholders can deploy to achieve the envisioned system.

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What to Know Now About MassHealth ACOs

MassHealth introduced Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in 2018 as an option for most of its members under age 65. As of June 2023, over 1.3 million members – more than half of MassHealth’s total membership – are enrolled in one of 17 MassHealth ACOs.

This report was developed as a resource for stakeholders to help explain the key elements of MassHealth ACOs, including the two types, who they serve, and the services they provide. It includes information on the following:

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MassHealth: The Basics – Facts and Trends (October 2023)

This UPDATED (October 2023) edition of the MassHealth: The Basics chart pack provides new data on MassHealth enrollment and spending from the most recent state fiscal years available. The chart pack features a high-level overview of the delivery systems that serve MassHealth members. It also highlights MassHealth’s latest reform efforts, which include initiatives to advance health equity and to improve timely access to behavioral health care.

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The MassHealth Demonstration Extension 2022–2027: Building on Success, Focusing on Equity

Massachusetts administers much of MassHealth through an 1115 Demonstration waiver, approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which it has extended several times since it was originally approved in 1995. On September 28, 2022, CMS approved Massachusetts’ request for a five-year extension of its Demonstration, which is in effect from October 1, 2022 through December 31, 2027.

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The Time is Now: The $5.9 Billion Case for Massachusetts Health Equity Reform

Racial and ethnic disparities in health care access, quality, and outcomes have been well documented in Massachusetts and across the country. Solutions for reducing inequities in health require investments of time and resources for which there will always be competing priorities. In understanding the value of these investments, it is critical to recognize that in addition to the human toll, they represent a significant economic burden to individuals and families, health care providers, employers, public and private sector payers, and the overall Massachusetts economy.

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Problem Management Plus: An Evidence-Based Approach to Expanding Access to Community-Based Mental Health Supports

Problem Management Plus (PM+) is a proven, scalable, and cost-effective low-intensity mental health intervention that can be delivered by trained non-clinical workers for people who are experiencing common mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression, or stressful life problems. PM+ fills a gap in the behavioral health services system by providing early intervention and potential prevention of more acute behavioral health service needs.

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Closing the Coverage Gaps: Reducing Health Insurance Disparities in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has been exemplary in developing health insurance coverage policies to cover its residents. By 2019, the state’s uninsurance rate was 3.0 percent, the lowest rate in the nation, representing about 204,000 uninsured residents. While the state’s overall uninsured rate at a given point in time is low, more than twice as many people - 503,000, or 7.3 percent of the population - experienced a gap in coverage over the previous twelve months. And importantly, not all groups benefit equally.

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thumb report

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

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.

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MassHealth Matters to Massachusetts – Infographic

MassHealth provides health care services to over 2 million Massachusetts residents. This infographic highlights key facts about MassHealth, including the many ways in which the program contributes to the Massachusetts economy and promotes health care coverage and access for residents in the state.

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masshealth infographic

A Focus on Health Care: Five Key Priorities for the Next Administration

Massachusetts’ historical achievements in bold and innovative health care policy have positioned the state as a national leader in transforming health care coverage, access, affordability, and quality. Yet despite decades of progress, the COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to ignore that not all Massachusetts residents are able to access, afford, or experience health care equally.

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