The Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School has a special focus on infectious disease and access to health care services that promote public health in Massachusetts.
CHLPI publishes a variety of factsheets and other resources to help health care providers, community-based organizations, and the general public navigate coverage for infectious disease prevention, care, and treatment.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates
The following updates highlight certain steps taken by Massachusetts officials to respond to COVID-19. The updates are not exhaustive and the policy landscape is evolving rapidly. For more information, please review specific department websites.
Good News on Public Charge – Trump Administration Rule Permanently Blocked Nationwide!
As of March 9, 2021, the Biden Administration told the Supreme Court that it would not defend the Trump Administration public charge rule in lawsuits against the rule. Federal courts then dismissed the pending cases, meaning that a court order from November 2020 blocking the Trump rule is now the final decision.
What this means: MassHealth, SNAP (Food Stamps), and housing benefits (like Section 8 and public housing) DO NOT COUNT for public charge anymore FOR ANYONE. Any COVID-19 treatment or preventive services also DOES NOT COUNT for public charge.
The Biden Administration announced that the government will now use the policy on public charge that was used before the Trump rule was created. Under this policy, the ONLY benefits that count as a factor in public charge determination are income maintenance cash benefits (like SSI/SSDI, TANF, and EAEDC) and long-term care (nursing homes) paid for by MassHealth.
Public charge does not apply at all to some categories of immigrants, including refugees; asylees; people who are survivors of domestic violence, trafficking, or other serious crimes; special immigrant juveniles; and some people paroled into the U.S. For more information, visit the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign website, and see their helpful Fact Sheet.
More information coming soon!