UNITED STATES NEWS

Millions who rely on Medicaid could be removed from program

Feb 26, 2023, 8:00 PM

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)...

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — If you get health care coverage through Medicaid, you might be at risk of losing that coverage over the next year.

Roughly 84 million people are covered by the government-sponsored program, which has grown by 20 million people since January 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

But as states begin checking everyone’s eligibility for Medicaid for the first time in three years, as many as 14 million people could lose access to that health care coverage.

A look at why so many people may no longer qualify for the Medicaid program over the next year and what you need to know if you’re one of those people who relies on the program.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TO MEDICAID?

At the beginning of the pandemic, the federal government prohibited states from kicking people off Medicaid, even if they were no longer eligible. Before the pandemic, people would regularly lose their Medicaid coverage if they started making too much money to qualify for the program, gained health care coverage through their employer or moved into a new state.

That all stopped once COVID-19 started spreading across the country.

Over the next year, states will be required to start checking the eligibility again of every person who is on Medicaid. People will have to fill out forms to verify their personal information, including address, income and household size.

WHEN MIGHT I LOSE MY COVERAGE?

That will vary depending on which state you live in; some states are moving faster than others to check eligibility. Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma and West Virginia are among the states that will begin removing ineligible Medicaid recipients as early as April.

Other states will start taking that step in May, June or July.

Not everyone will be removed from the program all at once. States plan to verify all recipients’ eligibility over periods of nine months to one year.

HOW WILL I BE NOTIFIED IF I’M LOSING COVERAGE?

If you rely on Medicaid for care, it’s important to update your contact information, including home address, phone number and email with the state from which you receive benefits.

States will mail a renewal form to your home. The federal government also requires states to contact you in another way -– by phone, text message or email –- to remind you to fill out the form.

Even if mailed notices reach the right address, they can be set aside and forgotten, said Kate McEvoy, executive director of the nonprofit National Association of Medicaid Directors.

“A text might just grab someone’s attention in a way that would be more accessible,” she said, noting that a quick message also may be less intimidating than a mailed notice.

Most states have already used texting for things such as reminding patients to get a COVID-19 vaccine or about upcoming doctor’s visits. But sending mass texts on Medicaid eligibility will be new, McEvoy said.

You will have at least 30 days to fill out the form. If you do not fill out the form, states will be able to remove you from Medicaid.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS IF I’M KICKED OFF MEDICAID?

Many people who will no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage can turn to the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace for coverage, where they’ll find health care coverage options that may cost less than $10 a month.

But the coverage available on the marketplace will still be vastly different from what’s offered through Medicaid. Out-of-pocket expenses and co-pays are often higher. Also, people will need to check if the insurance plans offered through the marketplace will still cover their doctors.

A special enrollment period will open for people who are unenrolled from Medicaid that will start on March 31 and last through July 31, 2024. People who lose Medicaid coverage will have up to 60 days to enroll after losing coverage, according to guidance the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent to states last month.

MY CHILDREN ARE ENROLLED IN MEDICAID. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THEIR COVERAGE?

More than half of U.S. children receive health care coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Even if you receive a notice that you’re no longer eligible for Medicaid, it’s likely that your child still qualifies for the program or for health care coverage through CHIP, which covers children whose families make too much money qualify for Medicaid but don’t earn enough to afford private health insurance.

Between 80% and 90% percent of children will still be eligible for those programs, according to estimates from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families.

“When a parent receives a message that they aren’t eligible anymore, they often assume their child is no longer eligible either,” said Joan Alker, the center’s executive director. “It’s more common to find that the parent is no longer eligible for Medicaid, but the child still is.”

United States News

Chuck Todd is leaving after a tumultuous near-decade of moderating the NBC political panel show “...

Associated Press

Chuck Todd leaving NBC political panel show ‘Meet the Press’

Chuck Todd said on Sunday that he'll be leaving “Meet the Press” after a tumultuous near-decade of moderating the NBC political panel show.

14 hours ago

This image provided by the The Michigan Department of Natural Resources shows emergency personnel, ...

Associated Press

Michigan wildfire that’s burned more than 3 square miles was sparked by campfire on private land

GRAYLING TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan wildfire that’s burned more than 3 square miles (7.7 square km) amid hot, dry conditions was sparked by a campfire, the state Department of Natural Resources said Sunday. The Wilderness Trail Fire in Crawford County began about 1 p.m. Saturday near Staley Lake in Grayling Township and was […]

14 hours ago

Three search and rescue workers and a dog approach the site of a building collapse in Davenport, Io...

Associated Press

Missing man’s body recovered at Iowa apartment collapse site; two others still missing

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The body of one of three men who had been missing after the partial collapse of an apartment building in Davenport, Iowa, has been found, a city official confirmed Sunday. Branden Colvin Sr.’s body was recovered Saturday, city spokeswoman Sarah Ott said. Two other men — 51-year-old Ryan Hitchcock and 60-year-old […]

14 hours ago

A hiker sits on a ledge above Pueblo Bonito, the largest archeological site at the Chaco Culture Na...

Associated Press

Biden bans on oil and gas production on sacred site in New Mexico

Chaco Culture National Historical Park has been withdrawn from consideration for further oil and gas production for the next 20 years.

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Transgender adults in Florida `blindsided’ that new law also limits their access to health care

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Debate surrounding Florida’s new restrictions on gender-affirming care focused largely on transgender children. But a new law that Republican presidential candidate and Gov. Ron DeSantis signed last month also made it difficult – even impossible – for many transgender adults to get treatment. Eli and Lucas, trans men who are a […]

14 hours ago

Associated Press

Four dead in Missouri after car crosses center line, strikes motorcyclists

AURORA, Mo. (AP) — Four people died and seven others were seriously injured when a car crossed the center line of a Missouri highway and struck five motorcycles. The accident happened Saturday afternoon on Missouri Route 39 near the southwestern Missouri town of Aurora. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said a Toyota Corolla crossed the […]

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DAY & NIGHT AIR CONDITIONING, HEATING AND PLUMBING

Here are the biggest tips to keep your AC bill low this summer

PHOENIX — In Arizona during the summer, having a working air conditioning unit is not just a pleasure, but a necessity. No one wants to walk from their sweltering car just to continue to be hot in their home. As the triple digits hit around the Valley and are here to stay, your AC bill […]

...

Desert Institute for Spine Care

Spinal fusion surgery has come a long way, despite misconceptions

As Dr. Justin Field of the Desert Institute for Spine Care explained, “we've come a long way over the last couple of decades.”

...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

How to identify the symptoms of 3 common anxiety disorders

Living with an anxiety disorder can be debilitating and cause significant stress for those who suffer from the condition.

Millions who rely on Medicaid could be removed from program