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MassHealth Implements 90-Day Retroactivity

Residents who have applied for MassHealth coverage during the pandemic can now seek to have that coverage applied retroactively for up to 90 days to cover health services received as early as March 1.

The change at MassHealth was made this month at part of a number of new flexibilities built into the state's Medicaid program to help those impact by COVID-19. Prior to this new retroactive policy, MassHealth only allowed for 10 days coverage prior to the date of applications.

Under the new rules, anyone under 65 who applied for coverage after March 1 can request a coverage start date as early as the first day of the third calendar month before the month of application, but no earlier than March 1, 2020.

The Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association welcomed the change, which it said was an early priority of the hospital group based on feedback from providers early in the pandemic.

"It was evident that an extended lookback period would be needed given the social distancing obstacles facing patient financial counselors and applicants to complete applications," the MHHA wrote in its recent newsletter.

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