November 30, 2017
Notes On MassHealth Updates

For this week's Leo's Letter, instead of my usual weekly blog post, I've filmed a short video for you all on important updates to MassHealth that you need to know about.

Press play below to hear about these updates, the Facebook Live I hosted yesterday, and the upcoming MassHealth webinar I will be hosting on 12/7/17.

Leo's Letter 11/30/17 - Notes on MassHealth Updates
Leo's Letter 11/30/17 - Notes on MassHealth Updates

Leo V. Sarkissian
Executive Director  
Tax Bill Threatens Critical Programs - Act Now!
Congress is moving quickly to pass a tax bill that will place critical programs for people with disabilities at great risk! The bill will reduce federal revenues so much that Congress is all but certain to move to cut programs to pay for the tax cuts. In fact, several Members of Congress have been promised that Medicaid and other programs will be cut next year if Congress votes for a bill that increases the deficit.

We need your help to stop this dangerous legislation!

This bill is moving quickly - the full Senate is expected to vote this week. Click here for a direct link to your Senators.
Important Becker Trust Grants Update
Grant proposals are due on December 6 - no exceptions. Grant Awards will be announced in March at a public event. Read more about the grants and guidelines here along with the application. Please ask for a confirmation that your proposal was received.
Handicapped Parking Placard Bill Signing

Our Executive Director Leo Sarkissian attended the signing of the handicapped parking placard bill  (S 2178) this week at the Governor's office. Our appreciation to Governor Baker, Senator Donoghue, and the legislative body for the placard law which will address abuse of handicap-accessible parking. Special thanks to Inspector General Glen Cunha and his team for the report which led to the successful passage of the law. 
You Can Make All The Difference For People Like Nicky
Nicky was abused by a staff member at his day program, an allegation that was substantiated by the Disabled Persons Protection Commission. Much to the shock of Nicky's family, this person went on to work at another agency, potentially mistreating or abusing other people with disabilities.

Protecting the safety and dignity of some of the most vulnerable people in our Commonwealth is a top priority. For well over a year, The Arc of Massachusetts has been building support for legislation that will do just that. Working closely with stakeholders and bill sponsors, we helped to write Nicky's Law, to prevent future instances of abuse. The law will create a registry of individuals against whom there is a substantiated finding of abuse or neglect of a person served through the Department of Developmental Services. Provider agencies will be required to check the registry before hiring a new employee.

The Arc of Massachusetts can't do this important work without you. Only with your commitment and generosity will people with intellectual and developmental disabilities get the services and supports that they need and deserve. 

You make all the difference.

Health Insurance for Adults with Autism Webinar
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM 
Presented by Terri Farrell, Project Director 
Autism Insurance Resource Center
The topic of this webinar is Health Insurance for Adults with Autism. Items to be covered include p rivate and public coverage options; accessing autism treatments; keeping a dependent on a parent's policy; ARICA and Employer-Sponsored Insurance (ESI); The Health Connector; and MassHealth premium assistance.

To register, email After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar.
Mass Health Innovations: What You NEED To Know About the Changes Webinar
Thursday, December 7, 2017 | 12:00 - 1:00 PM
Presented by Leo Sarkissian, Executive Director, The Arc of Massachusetts
FREE thanks to the Becker Family Foundation
Implementation of health care reform will have a significant impact on the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), autism, and brain injuries. Leo will provide participants with up to date changes and developments in managed care and Mass Health and what the impact is on physical and behavioral health and long-term supports and services. Register today!
Transition to Adult Services Webinar
What Educators and School Administrators Need to Know
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Presented by Pat Pakos and Kerry Mahoney, The Arc of Massachusetts
Registration fee: $40

The transition of students leaving their schools can be difficult for themselves and their families. Educators and School Administrators can be helpful in making this transition seamless.  Participants will learn:  What are the basics to know about this transition?  What are the available services?  How are they organized?  What can Educators and School Administrators do to help? Register today!
WHAT'S TRENDING Whatstrending

Miss Leo's Facebook Live On MassHealth?

Leo hosted a short information session on important updates to MassHealth on November 29. In case you missed it, you can watch the presentation on demand right here on our Facebook page!
Government Affairs Makes A Pre-Holiday Push
The Arc's Government Affairs team continues to meet with leadership regarding the need for a supplemental budget. This budget request would help to close a gap on day and employment and residential services.

Meetings have taken place with over 40 legislators and staff. Other priorities for Government Affairs are moving our legislation through committees and toward passage. Nicky's Law has officially been passed favorably out of The Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. This is a testament to the collective advocacy of all stakeholders involved and especially to the families, especially Nicky's family who bravely shared their stories. 

More to come on this bill and others so stay tuned to Notes and The Arc's social media or contact Maura Sullivan at
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT sponsorspotlight
The Arc of Massachusetts | 781-891-6270 |