Medicaid eligibility: Biden administration warns states to minimize loss of coverage as reviews resume

(CNN) The Biden administration wants to make sure states are doing everything in their power to minimize the number of Medicaid registrants left uninsured once states regain the ability to drop ineligible recipients next month to permit.

The Department of Health and Human Services this week sent a letter to governors urging them to take action to curb coverage losses that could affect millions of people.

“I urge you to ensure that your state implements all possible options to prevent eligible individuals from losing coverage,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra wrote in bold in the letter, made available exclusively to CNN.

States risk losing expanded federal Medicaid funding for the remainder of this year if they fail to meet various requirements in their eligibility checks, Becerra wrote. They must attempt to ensure they have up-to-date contact information for mailees and reach recipients through multiple methods before discontinuing coverage for returned mail. States are also required to report monthly renewals and terminations, among other things.

keep people enrolled

States have not been able to end residents’ Medicaid coverage in exchange for receiving additional federal funding since the pandemic began. This continued coverage requirement, which Congress passed in March 2020 as part of a Covid-19 relief package, has resulted in more than 91 million people enrolled in Medicaid and the children’s health insurance program.

All that changes on April 1, when states can start opting out of Medicaid recipients again thanks to the federal spending package passed by Congress in December. The expanded federal game will phase out later this year, relieving states of some of the pressure to weed out their Medicaid roles quickly.

States have until the end of May 2024 to reassess enrollment eligibility.

A total of around 15 million people could be excluded from Medicaid if the continuous coverage requirement ends, according to an analysis by HHS released in August. Approximately 8.2 million people would no longer qualify, but 6.8 million people would be terminated while still eligible. This can be done for procedural reasons, including failure to respond to inquiries and failure to provide required information to government agencies.

As many as 6.7 million children are at risk of losing insurance coverage, although the vast majority of them remain eligible, according to the Georgetown Center for Children and Families.

Many of those who no longer meet Medicaid requirements could move to heavily subsidized Affordable Care Act plans or other coverages, such as B. work-related policies change. To ease the transition, HHS created a special registration period that allows affected Americans in states using the federal exchange to register for policies through July 31, 2024.

It is not known how many people who are released from Medicaid remain uninsured. Much of this will depend on how states handle proficiency testing.

However, government agencies face several hurdles when trying to resolve the continuous provision of coverage. Many are understaffed and have to work with outdated technology. Also, they may not have accurate contact information for their enrolled, which has always been a challenge but could be even more so now that more people may have changed addresses during the pandemic.


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