Massachusetts currently has three programs waivers that are open to children. One is a TEFRA program, another is an HCBS 1915(c) Medicaid waiver for autism, and a state-based program, MassHealth CommonHealth, is part of an 1115 demonstration waiver. While the TEFRA program and state program waive parental income, the 1915(c) waiver counts parent income under most circumstances. See this page for an overview of health care in Massachusetts and this page for home and community based options.

Advocacy Organizations in Massachusetts:​

Last updated 9/20/23

Programs in Massachusetts

  • Target Population: Children who would otherwise require care in an institution with any type of disability, including medical, developmental, intellectual, or psychiatric conditions.
  • Ages: 0-18
  • Levels of Care: Intermediate Care Facility, Nursing Facility, Hospital
  • Income Waiver: Yes, the program is based on the child’s income only. Parent income is not counted.
  • Waiver Type: TEFRA
  • Spots: unlimited
  • Expiration Date: NA
  • Description: Provides Medicaid coverage only.
  • Online State Information: Kaileigh Mulligan
  • How to Apply: Call the MassHealth Enrollment Center at 1-800-841-2900, then ask for Kaileigh Mulligan intake; or talk to your child’s hospital social worker or case manager.
  • Waiting List: none
  • Target Population: Young children with autism.
  • Ages: 0-8; however, the state appears to allow children up to their 10th birthday to remain in the program.
  • Levels of Care: Intermediate Care Facility
  • Income Waiver: No, under most circumstances, but special rules apply to children with multiple complex conditions.
  • Waiver Type: 1915(c)
  • Spots: 440
  • Expiration Date: 9/30/2025
  • Description from Provides community integration, expanded habilitation/education, homemaker, respite, assistive technology, behavioral supports and consultation, family training, home modifications and adaptations, individual goods and services, vehicle modification for children with autism, 0 – 8 yrs old.
  • Online State Information: Autism Waiver Services
  • Official Federal Information
  • How to Apply: There is an annual enrollment period each October. Here is the 2023 information.
  • Waiting List: The program is currently full but will take new enrollees each October.
  • Target Population: Children and adults with disabilities
  • Ages: 0-18; also available for adults with disabilities
  • Levels of Care: NA
  • Income Waiver: Yes, the program is based on the child’s disability and not income; however, a premium may apply.
  • Waiver Type: state-based (and part of an 1115 waiver)
  • Spots: unlimited
  • Expiration Date: NA
  • Description: CommonHealth is comprehensive health insurance similar to MassHealth Standard, for eligible disabled adults and disabled children through age 18 who cannot get MassHealth Standard because their incomes are too high.
  • Online State Information: MA Commonhealth beginning p. 12
  • Official Federal Information
  • How to Apply: Call the MassHealth Enrollment Center at 1-800-841-2900 or see online application info.
  • Waiting List: none

Additional Information

  • Massachusetts recently created a Complex Care Assistant provider type that will allow parents/guardians to be paid to care for their children. This care can include personal care as well as some enhanced services, including tube feedings and oxygen delivery.
  • Parents/guardians who are RNs or LPNs can be paid to care for their own children in Massachusetts.