SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1015        FILED ON: 2/9/2021

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 761


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



Sal N. DiDomenico


To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
Court assembled:

The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act to streamline access to critical public health and safety-net programs through common applications.







Sal N. DiDomenico

Middlesex and Suffolk


Carmine Lawrence Gentile

13th Middlesex


Michael O. Moore

Second Worcester


Harriette L. Chandler

First Worcester


Joan B. Lovely

Second Essex


James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester


Patrick M. O'Connor

Plymouth and Norfolk


John F. Keenan

Norfolk and Plymouth


Joanne M. Comerford

Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester


Brian M. Ashe

2nd Hampden


Joseph W. McGonagle, Jr.

28th Middlesex


Anne M. Gobi

Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex


Erika Uyterhoeven

27th Middlesex


Michael D. Brady

Second Plymouth and Bristol


John J. Cronin

Worcester and Middlesex


Eric P. Lesser

First Hampden and Hampshire


Hannah Kane

11th Worcester


Patricia D. Jehlen

Second Middlesex


David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf

17th Worcester


Susannah M. Whipps

2nd Franklin


Mary S. Keefe

15th Worcester


Edward J. Kennedy

First Middlesex


Paul R. Feeney

Bristol and Norfolk


John H. Rogers

12th Norfolk


Jason M. Lewis

Fifth Middlesex


Adam G. Hinds

Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden


Sonia Chang-Diaz

Second Suffolk


Diana DiZoglio

First Essex


Jack Patrick Lewis

7th Middlesex


Julian Cyr

Cape and Islands


Nick Collins

First Suffolk


Brendan P. Crighton

Third Essex


Walter F. Timilty

Norfolk, Bristol and Plymouth


Rebecca L. Rausch

Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex


Adam Gomez



SENATE DOCKET, NO. 1015        FILED ON: 2/9/2021

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 761

By Mr. DiDomenico, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 761) of Sal N. DiDomenico, Carmine Lawrence Gentile, Michael O. Moore, Harriette L. Chandler and other members of the General Court for legislation to improve public health through a common application for core food, health and safety-net programs.  Health Care Financing.


SEE SENATE, NO. 678 OF 2019-2020.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts



In the One Hundred and Ninety-Second General Court



An Act to streamline access to critical public health and safety-net programs through common applications.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Chapter 118E of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding after Section 77 the following section:-

Section 78 A. In order to improve access to federal nutrition assistance and reduce health care costs due to lack of adequate nutrition, the Division of Medicaid shall offer both applicants and recipients of MassHealth and Medicare Savings Program, also known as MassHealth Buy-In, the option to both (a) initiate an application for federal supplemental nutrition assistance program benefits at the time of application or renewal for medical assistance and (b) authorize the division to submit said application to the department of transitional assistance. The option to apply for nutrition assistance shall be offered to applicants and recipients for medical assistance whose reported gross income is below two hundred percent of the federal poverty level.

With the consent of said applicant or recipient, the division shall share relevant financial and other eligibility information and supporting documentation that may be required to qualify the applicant or recipient for supplemental nutrition assistance benefits. The department of transitional assistance shall promptly inform said applicant of the eligibility requirements and any additional verifications or obligations.

SECTION 2. Chapter 118E of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding after Section 77 the following section:-

Section 78 B. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the executive office of health and human services and the executive office of communities and development shall initiate development of a common application portal for individuals to simultaneously apply for state-administered needs-based benefits and services in coordination with the division of Medicaid, the department of transitional assistance, the department of early education and care, the executive office of education and the department of housing and community development. The common application shall allow individuals the option to apply at the same time for MassHealth coverage, the supplemental nutrition assistance program, income supports under Chapters 117A and 118 of the General Laws, veterans services benefits under Chapter 115 of the General Laws, child care subsidies, housing subsidies, fuel assistance and other needs-based health care, nutrition and shelter benefits.

SECTION 3. Section 2 of chapter 18 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding at the end of section (B) the following: --

(t) ensure that applicants for or recipients of benefits under the supplemental nutrition assistance program are informed about and have the opportunity to apply for cash assistance benefits under chapter 117A and chapter 118 at the time they file an application or renewal for supplemental nutrition assistance, and that such information about and opportunity to apply for said cash assistance benefits is provided without regard to whether the application or renewal is filed in person, electronically, in writing or by telephone, and without regard to whether the applicant or recipient is assisted by a community organization;

(u) no less than twice in a 12 month period, shall send recipients of SNAP benefits with children age 18 or younger who have no countable income according to the department’s records a notice that (1) states the amount of cash assistance for which the household might be eligible based on its household size and explains how to apply; (2) states that the household may contact its local legal services program for free confidential advice about its eligibility for cash assistance, including but not limited to advice about child support requirements, a previous sanction or termination, immigrant eligibility, and (3) provides the contact information for the local legal services program.