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New Enhanced Benefits for Unemployment Income Recipients on Health Connector Plans

May 18, 2021

Due to the American Rescue Plan, Massachusetts residents who received unemployment income for even one week during 2021 are eligible to enroll in Health Connector ConnectorCare Plan Type 2A coverage.

The online application at MAhealthconnector.org has not yet been able to make these determinations. However, at the end of May, the Health Connector will start to apply these additional subsidies through an unemployment income workflow. The unemployment income workflow is a post-eligibility process that happens nightly for any household that has attested to having a tax filer with unemployment income during 2021.

System Updates:

  • When members, Customer Service staff or Assisters submit applications, either new applications or when reporting a change for an existing member, they will receive an eligibility result based on current system rules. This eligibility result will not display eligibility for a ConnectorCare Plan Type 2A if the individual is otherwise eligible for a different benefit
  • Each night through the unemployment income workflow, the Health Connector will find the applications where unemployment income in 2021 has been reported and change the eligibility determination to ConnectorCare Plan Type 2A. Assisters, Customer Service or members will see this change to ConnectorCare Plan Type 2A the next morning.
  • The Health Connector will mail a notice with this eligibility change reflected.
  • On or around June 4th, an updated banner message will display on the Eligibility Results screen for those applicants who have attested to having unemployment income, alerting them to the unemployment income workflow.
  • Current Health Connector members with income over 300% FPL who indicated that they had unemployment income in 2021 will either be moved into ConnectorCare automatically or will need to reshop.
    • Those enrolled in Silver level plans offered by a ConnectorCare carrier will get moved into ConnectorCare automatically.
    • Those enrolled in non-ConnectorCare carriers or outside the Silver tier need to reshop to enroll in ConnectorCare Plan Type 2A coverage.

Banner Message:

If you have 2021 unemployment income

If you have unemployment income for 2021 and qualify for Health Connector coverage, you may be eligible for extra financial help. Your account may be updated with a new eligibility result soon. Please return to your account tomorrow to see if you have new lower-cost health plan choices.

Timing:
  • Starting the week of May 23rd through the following week, the Health Connector will begin running the unemployment income workflow for existing members who have unemployment income listed on their current application or an earlier 2021 application.
  • Individuals may need to shop for a ConnectorCare plan if they are not currently enrolled in coverage or are enrolled in a Health Connector plan that is not compatible with ConnectorCare.
    • Current Health Connector members with income over 300% FPL who indicated that they had unemployment income in 2021 will either be moved into ConnectorCare automatically or will need to reshop.
  • Starting the week of June 6th, the Health Connector will begin the nightly unemployment income workflow to make sure all those who report changes will maintain their eligibility, and new reports of unemployment will be picked up.

Invoices:
  • Enrolled members will be moved into a ConnectorCare plan after the unemployment income workflow. Some members will have a $0 premium if they are enrolled in a plan that offers a $0 premium at ConnectorCare Plan Type 2A. If members are enrolled in a ConnectorCare Plan Type 2A that has a premium, they will be billed for that premium in a revised bill.
    • If the member has been automatically moved (due to the unemployment income workflow) from their current ConnectorCare plan to the $0 2A plan, and they are current on payments (in good standing), they won’t get a new bill in the mail.
    • Health Connector members who are enrolled in a plan that does not become $0 after the unemployment income workflow may get both their original bill and a revised bill at the same time. The Member Portal plan card will show the correct amount a member owes.

How can you help?
  • If you are helping a member update their information and they are adding in Unemployment Income, and their eligibility is not already ConnectorCare Type 2A, alert them that:
    • Due to the American Rescue Plan, there is additional financial help for those who report Unemployment Income. The online application at MAhealthconnector.org will update overnight to add these additional benefits to your eligibility.
    • By the next day, applicants and members will be redetermined into ConnectorCare Type 2A eligibility, that provides more affordable plan options.
    • If the member is not initially ConnectorCare eligible, they should either log in to their account or contact their Assister or call Health Connector customer service to shop and enroll in a ConnectorCare plan the day after the unemployment workflow has run.
    • Current members with income over 300% FPL who are enrolled in Silver level plans offered by a ConnectorCare carrier, will get moved into ConnectorCare automatically. Those enrolled in non-ConnectorCare compatible plans need to reshop to enroll in ConnectorCare Plan Type 2A coverage.