HCN News & Notes

Public Comment Requested on Amendment to MassHealth’s Section 1115 Demonstration

BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration has posted a request for public comment that will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for proposed changes to MassHealth’s Section 1115 Demonstration. The amendment aims to advance health equity by expanding coverage to targeted populations and further address members’ health-related social needs.

The 1115 Demonstration is currently approved through December 2027. It supports the Commonwealth’s commitment to universal healthcare coverage and has provided federal authority to test innovations in payment and care delivery. The current waiver includes continuous eligibility for justice-involved members and chronically homeless members under age 65, and MassHealth intends to implement continuous eligibility for children up to age 19 beginning in January 2024.

The proposed amendment would expand continuous eligibility to all adult members over age 19 and chronically homeless members age 65 and older for 12 and 24 months, respectively. It would also include 90 days of pre-release MassHealth coverage for justice-involved individuals and state subsidies for an increased number of individuals who purchase insurance through the Health Connector.

“This 1115 Demonstration amendment reinforces Massachusetts’ commitment to delivering high-quality and equitable care for all Massachusetts residents by reducing the risk of gaps in healthcare coverage,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh said. “I am grateful to CMS, the MassHealth team, and our partners for their commitment to improving health outcomes for all members, especially those who have been historically left out and marginalized.”

Mike Levine, assistant secretary for MassHealth, added that “the proposed 1115 Demonstration amendment requests build directly upon existing efforts to advance health equity and ensure Massachusetts residents remain universally insured. I look forward to partnering closely with providers, plans, members, and CMS as we work to finalize the amendment and implement these important reforms.”