Updates and Info from Organizations, State Agencies Aid Coronavirus Response

Mar 12, 2020

State agencies and organizations are providing valuable information, updates and action in response to the coronavirus.

In addition to those updates from MHAC partners and organizations listed below, people can continue to visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for updates on the coronavirus.

  • Massachusetts Public Health Association (MPHA):

MPHA announced  that it is convening an Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity to rapidly develop policy recommendations to ensure adequate prevention and response measures for communities that will be disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and its economic repercussions – including low income people, people of color, immigrants, low wage workers, those who are food insecure, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, and older adults, among others.

The Task Force will be chaired by Sandro Galea, Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health and Cheryl Bartlett, CEO of the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center and former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Preliminary recommendations will be released on Friday, March 20th at 9am in Room 222 at the State House.

More on this update is available here.

  • John A. Hartford Foundation (JAHF):

The foundation has shared resources from our partners and grantees that they will regularly update with information for older adults, family caregivers and health care providers. This includes federal government entities like the Administration on Community Living (ACL) and health care provider trade associations.

See the resource page from the John A. Hartford Foundation here.

  • Massachusetts Health Connector

To ensure everyone who wants access to covered coronavirus services has it, the Massachusetts Health Connector announced that uninsured residents can apply and get into coverage through a 45-day window running until April 25.

On March 6, the Division of Insurance announced that Massachusetts health insurers are now required to cover the cost of testing and treatment for members who may be affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including not charging co-pays or deductibles for those services. The Health Connector’s decision to open enrollment to anyone without coverage ensures Massachusetts residents concerned about contracting coronavirus can access necessary services without cost barriers.

Additionally, the Health Connector will be delivering to current members information about the Division of Insurance guidance, reassuring members that coronavirus-related services are available at no cost.

More information on this update from Mass. Health Connector is available here.

  • LeadingAge Massachusetts

With the intense focus on the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), and the potential impact on older adults, LeadingAge Massachusetts has compiled some helpful resources for their members to assist with their planning and preparedness efforts, which will be updated as more resources become available.

This resource list includes guidance for providers, but also helpful general information.

  • Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA)

All Massachusetts hospitals have established policies for containing and treating contagious diseases and for dealing with patient surges if the need arises.

MHA has also compiled a helpful list of resources about tools for hospitals and EMS providers along with more general information and updates here.