Policy Issue

Policy Watch: New Medicaid Waiver Brings Important Changes to MassHealth

October 17, 2022

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service recently approved a new Section 1115 waiver for Massachusetts. The waiver allows the state to implement innovative strategies to better serve the nearly 2 million residents enrolled in the MassHealth Medicaid program. The waiver agreement went into effect on October 1st and will last for five years.

The Baker administration set five main goals with the waiver: 1) continue the adoption of value-based purchasing that incentivizes health systems to prioritize quality of care over service volume; 2) expand access to care in part by providing incentives targeting the primary care and behavioral health workforce; 3) address health disparities through MassHealth’s accountable care organizations and expanding access to wraparound supports such as nutrition and housing; 4) supporting the state's health safety net; and 5) maintaining the state’s "near-universal" health insurance coverage. 

A new incentive in the waiver allows certain MassHealth beneficiaries, such as those who are housing insecure or those previously incarcerated, to have extended continuous coverage. This will help reduce the administrative barriers that many face in renewing MassHealth coverage and which often complicates access to needed care.

Click here for more details on the Medicaid waiver.

Return to all stories