Choosing the Right Health Care Combo: Making the Most of Your Coverage

Having the right health insurance package can be the key to specialized services. Sometimes you can get everything you need from one plan. Other times there might be more behavioral or medical services that you need for your child with a disability that are not included in your current plan.

Many families find that in order to get all of these services, they need an extra layer of coverage in addition to the private insurance plan they currently have through their employer. In Massachusetts, many of these needed services are offered through MassHealth (Medicaid). What’s even better is that your child can get this MassHealth secondary coverage regardless of your income level.

 What types of behavioral and medical services are available?

  • The Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) provides intensive support services for Massachusetts residents under the age of 21 who are diagnosed with a serious emotional, behavioral, or psychiatric condition. Intensive support services include in-home therapy, therapeutic mentoring, and mobile crisis intervention.

  • The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) offers integrated medical and behavioral health care as well, including care management, outpatient mental health services, and community support.
    • To qualify, your family member should be on MassHealth Standard, CommonHealth, or Family Assistance AND enrolled in the Primary Care Clinical (PCC) Plan.

  • If your family member is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder(ASD), he or she may receive additional services thanks to Massachusetts health insurance laws like the Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism(ARICA). These services include psychiatric care, counseling, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

These services can be used if your child is on certain types of MassHealth, like CommonHealth or MassHealth Standard. For families with MassHealth Family Assistance, you will need to complete the MassHealth Child Disability Supplement to become eligible for CommonHealth. Not sure if you qualify? Call a MassHealth Benefits Advisor at 1-800-497-4648 and ask.

Enrolling in MassHealth, in addition to the coverage you may already have, could help to get your child services that may improve his or her quality of life. For more information about getting these important behavioral and medical services, visit our Exceptional Lives Health Insurance Guide or call the Family-to-Family Health Information Center of Massachusetts Family Voices at 1-800-331-0688.

The Exceptional Lives team is available to answer any questions you may have along the way. Give us a call at 1-844-628-4866 or send us an email at

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