OVER 5 MILLION HAVE LOST MEDICAID COVERAGE
Throughout the summer, we are publishing the NDNRC Update on a biweekly basis.
As of August 23, over 5.3 million Medicaid enrollees have lost covered, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Disenrollment ranges from each state, with extremes of 72% of enrollees losing coverage in Texas to 8% in Wyoming. As the trend continues, 74% of all people disenrolled had their coverage terminated for procedural reasons, with some states pausing procedural terminations to address systemic issues in state renewal processes.
Through their policy watch, the Kaiser Family Foundation released an article examining the effect of prioritizing renewals for Medicaid disenrollments on the early disenrollment rates. More information is required as to why individuals were flagged as being ineligible and experiencing higher disenrollment rates during the unwinding period.
The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) has filed a lawsuit in Florida over the Medicaid redeterminations being conducted in that state. The lawsuit focuses on notices being sent out by the state to Medicaid beneficiaries and claims that they do not provide the information needed by individuals to know what their options are and why they were disenrolled. You can read more about this lawsuit in the NHeLP press release or explainer.
NHeLP has created a list of questions for call centers and outreach for advocates to ask for those who have limited English proficiency (LEP) and disability access. Call centers are the main source for Medicaid enrollees to contact their state agency; during the unwinding, enrollees have face call abandonment, long wait times, and poor accommodation or interpretation assistance.
As procedural terminations sweep the nation, call centers in rural areas are unable to handle traffic leading to longer wait times and higher call abandonment rates. The Georgetown Center for Children & Families reported that rural populations faced additional barriers such as longer travel times to state offices and limited internet access and almost 15% of those in rural areas reporting a disability.
As part of our partnership with Community Catalyst, we have a project which highlights opportunities for people with disabilities to get access to health coverage through Medicaid or the ACA marketplace. This project has provided graphics like the one below which highlights coverage options people have if they lose Medicaid. These are available in the Community Catalyst Outreach Hub and on the Organizing for Outreach materials page.
Almost 6 million Medicaid enrollees used long-term services/support (LTSS) according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, greatly assisting people with disabilities. While most states have increased funding for LTSS since the public health emergency that caused healthcare worker shortages, the continued need for this service will need to be addressed with more resources being provided to states and higher provider payment rates.
The Center on Medicare and Medicaid Services released a factsheet on the implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act, highlighting that adults with Medicaid coverage will be able to access recommended vaccines without cost-sharing. Marketplace enrollees will pay less for healthcare coverage premiums through 2025 thanks to enhanced financial assistance.
Unwinding the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement has begun in many states, and people have started losing their Medicaid eligibility. Over the last couple months, we have been updating our “Medicaid Unwinding Resources” blog post which has links to various resources including our Medicaid unwinding flyer.
As summer comes to a close, the fall open enrollment period will be here soon and insurance companies are starting to file their rates for the 2024 year. The Georgetown Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) as a new blog post which examines the premium increases being filed by insurance companies and what it means for the marketplace and overall healthcare costs.
We previously reported on the No Surprises Act which was passed in December 2020 with the intention of eliminating surprise medical billing. The Georgetown CHIR has a new blog post which looks at how the new law is being implemented and examines the higher use of independent dispute resolution than was originally anticipated.
Archives of our weekly updates are available on the NDNRC website.