The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is currently facing a crisis in healthcare due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) epidemic. We face this health crisis together and we are not alone. Please be sure to check this page frequently for updates regarding the impact of COVID-19 on different areas of healthcare, daily life, financial matters, and more.
This page was last updated on April 3, 2020.
How The Arc Is Addressing The COVID-19 Crisis
- March 30, 2020: The Arc team will be hosting weekly, half-hour webinars and Q&A sessions where we provide you with up to the minute updates on federal and local policies and programs, valuable resources and information, and more.
- March 25, 2020: The House Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities reviewed the urgent needs of our disability community including the viability of agencies which provide essential services and the situation of persons with disabilities and families who require additional in-home assistance. Also raised was the lack of personal protective equipment to prevent transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Thank you to Chair Khan and Vice Chair Cutler!
- March 24, 2020: The Arc of Massachusetts joins the Special Needs Advocacy Network and Federation for Children with Special Needs in a letter to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on the lack of special education services in the Commonwealth. Thank you to SPAN and FCSN for their work on the letter. We will be working together (and with others) to advance the best outcomes. Stay tuned for more news!
- March 24, 2020: The Arc releases their community outreach survey in Spanish. Further translations will be released in the coming days.
- March 19, 2020: The Arc releases a community outreach survey to gauge the needs of our community during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.
The Arc's Latest Updates on COVID-19
Important Resources on COVID-19
- [April 2] The Arc of US Coronavirus Stimulus Payments - Recovery Rebates Summary of CARES Act
- [April 1] CARES Act Briefing for Nonprofits
- [March 30] The Arc of US Special Education and Related Services Summary of CARES Act
- [March 28] Civil Rights, HIPAA, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- [March 27] CCD Housing Task Force High-Level Summary of Key Housing Provisions of CARES Act
- [March 27] The Arc US Briefing on Federal COVID-19 Response Package #3
- [March 27] The Arc US Recovery Rebates Fact Sheet
- [March 21] U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights – Addressing the Risk of COVID-19 in Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Schools While Serving Children with Disabilities Supplemental Factsheet
- Coronavirus AID, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Analysis
- Additional Information on CARES Act
- Call your primary care physician or urgent care.
- Personal Protective Equipment:
- Use local resources section to check on personal protective equipment. This is in short supply and we are advocating nationally for increasing production to make sure our community has supplies.
- If you have a service provider, contact it for assistance with pick-up and delivery of medications (RX).
- If you are concerned about medical care or paying for RX, approval for MassHealth is expedited.
- SPAN Mass Webinar: COVID-19: School Closure and Special Education
- DESE Expands Guidance to include Remote Learning for Students Receiving Special Education Services
- WBUR: As Outbreak Spreads, State Says Mass. Public Schools Must Educate Students With Disabilities
- The Arc of Massachusetts joins the Special Needs Advocacy Network and Federation for Children with Special Needs in a letter to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on the lack of special education services in the Commonwealth. Thank you to SPAN and FCSN for their work on the letter. We will be working together (and with others) to advance the best outcomes. Stay tuned for more news!
- If you or your family member is or has been receiving services from an agency, call that agency first.
- Your local family support or autism support center is another option for assistance. You can use the directory to find one in your area here.
- Contact the chapter of The Arc in your area.
- Contact your DDS area office.
- If you are not DDS eligible, contact your Independent Living Center.
- MassHealth Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Provider Frequently Asked Questions
- On March 16, the Commissioner of Insurance issued an emergency measures order to all health insurance carriers and HMOs in regard to use of telehealth (telephone and video). This means that all private carriers and MassHealth will allow payment for telehealth (and co-pays have been temporarily removed for patients). We previously shared that MassHealth now allows telehealth including for certain long-term supports services such as adult family or foster care (AFC). Medical groups have begun to inform patients that this is how regular appointments will be kept
- MassHealth has approved 90-day medication refills (as long as you have approval for at least 1 refill); this isn’t extending to all medications and we are advocating for full extension.
- MassHealth General Member Updates.
- Providers are offering shopping and delivery services to assist individuals/families.
- State Public Policy Resources on COVID-19
- FAQs for PPP Loans [March 30]
- CARES Act Analysis for Providers [March 30]
- CARES Act Info For Non-Profits [March 30]
- Massachusetts COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Command Center.
- Information for MassHealth providers.
- Emergency measures announced by the Insurance Commissioner [March 16]
- Approvals page for waivers. States apply for Appendix K or 1135 waivers for more flexibility from CMS. Visit the page of the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services and see links on COVID-19.