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COVID-19 and MassHealth and Health Insurance

Reviewed January 22, 2021

If you lost your health insurance or don’t think you can afford health insurance, you may be able to get free or low cost health coverage from MassHealth or the Health Connector.

If you already have MassHealth, during this public health emergency , your coverage will only end if you move out of state or ask for your benefits to close. MassHealth will not end for any other reason until the public health emergency ends.

MassHealth and Health Connector offices are closed to in-person visits, but still doing business online and by telephone

MassHealth

  • All MassHealth Enrollment sites will be closed for walk-in visitors until further notice.
  • People under 65 can apply for MassHealth online in English or Spanish, or by calling Customer Service to apply over the telephone.
  • People of any age can apply by completing a paper application form and sending it to the mailing address or fax number shown on the form. You can get the form in English or Spanish
  • If you are applying and you have questions or need support contact the MassHealth Customer Service Center
    (800) 841-2900.
    If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled, call TTY: (800) 497-4648. (800) 497-4648.

Health Connector

  • All walk-in centers are closed until further notice.
  • You can apply for benefits online in English or Spanish.
  • You can apply by completing a paper application form and sending it to the mailing address or fax number shown on the form. You can get the form in English or Spanish. You can also apply over the telephone and get other assistance from the Health Connector’s Customer Service Center, call customer service 1-877-623-6765.
    If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled, call TTY 1-877-623-7773.
  • If you apply and are found eligible for the Health Connector, you must select a health plan and pay the first month’s premium by the 23d of the month in order to have coverage on the 1st of the next month. If your income is low, you may be able to enroll without a premium charge.
  • You must enroll during “open enrollment” which has now been extended until March 23, 2021 or within 60 days from the date you get a letter that says you can enroll in ConnectorCare or other coverage.
  • To make a payment:

Help applying for MassHealth or Health Connector Coverage

You can also get help applying for MassHealth or Health Connector coverage from local Navigators or Certified Application Counselors. See Enrollment Assister Search for a list of organizations that can help you, and call ahead.

Help in a language other than English:

  • Both MassHealth and the Health Connector Customer Service Lines have a Spanish language option. For other languages, press '0' after each automated message. Then stay on the line until a person answers, say the English name of your language,  and wait for them to arrange a telephone interpreter.
  • The list of local Navigators and Certified Application Counselors includes the languages each organization offers. These organizations can help you with other languages too. They may use telephone interpreters.

 

Special MassHealth rules during the emergency

What if I do not have any insurance and I have to go to the hospital?

If you do not have insurance and you qualify for MassHealth, hospitals can help most people get temporary coverage right away, even if you cannot complete a full application.

What if I was asked to send in proof to complete my application and I can’t get the paperwork?

During the COVID-19 emergency, if you have difficulty getting documents proving information on your application form such as the amount of your income or, if you are 65 or older, the amount of your assets, MassHealth is accepting your sworn statement. Call MassHealth to “self-attest” to this information over the telephone or complete a self assessment form. you can get a summary of this and other rules in place during the COVID-19 emergency from their website.

Will I lose my MassHealth benefits during the COVID-19 outbreak?

No, your MassHealth coverage is 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 your coverage will last until the end of the month in which the emergency period ends.

However, reporting a change of address is important to make sure you receive notices about how to retain your coverage after the emergency ends. Reporting changes may sometimes help you qualify for better coverage now or avoid problems after the emergency ends.  If you have questions about your coverage, contact the MassHealth Customer Service Center
(800) 841-2900, TTY: (800) 497-4648.

Prescriptions
If you have MassHealth you can get up to a 90 day supply of most prescription medications and medical supplies.

Telephones and Telehealth
MassHealth is making it easier for medical providers to use telephones and telehealth so you do not have to leave your home to see a doctor. Call your doctor’s office to ask about setting up a telephone or telehealth appointment.

MassHealth COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

MassHealth has a list of Frequently Asked Questions on its website. They answer practical information about coverage, telehealth, reporting lost wages, and other questions you may have.

Coverage for Coronavirus testing and treatment

All types of MassHealth including MassHealth Limited (emergency Medicaid) cover the costs of medically necessary testing and treatment for Covid-19 at no cost to members.

All Health Connector plans cover the costs of testing and treatment for Covid-19 at no cost to members.

Health Safety Net also covers the costs of testing and treatment for Covid-19 provided by hospitals and community health centers at no cost to patients.

Health care providers can also bill the federal government for providing COVID-19 testing and treatment for uninsured state residents.

Testing at “Stop the Spread” locations are also available at no cost to you even if you do not have symptoms, have not been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and do not have a doctor’s order for the test.
Find testing sites, including Stop the Spread sites, on this map.

Call first!

Most medical facilities are taking precautions to protect their workers and patients.

Remember to apply for other benefits too

Find resources for other ways the public health emergency may affect you on Mass.gov/covid-19.

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Created December 21, 2020

COVID-19 Isolation and Recovery Sites

Massachusetts is so serious about stopping the spread of COVID-19, they are paying for isolation and recovery sites to help some people self-quarantine or isolate.

If you test positive for COVID-19 and you can look after yourself, the state will pay for your hotel room or another place so you can stay away from other people and not infect them if:

  • Your household makes less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, and
    • You do not have space in your home where you can live alone, or
    • you live with a high-risk person, or
  • You are homeless,
  • You live in a shelter, or
  • Your home is not safe because of violence.

If you need someone to give you medication or help with daily living or help from a skilled nursing facility, you cannot take advantage of this program.

To get  a COVID-19 Isolation and Recovery hotel room:

Call (617) 367-5150

7 AM - 7 PM

See Massachusetts information on Isolation and Recovery Sites

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