OVER 7 MILLION HAVE LOST MEDICAID COVERAGE
As of September 20, over 7.1 million Medicaid enrollees have lost coverage, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. 37% of those who completed the renewal process were disenrolled and 11.9 million enrollees were able to qualify for renewed coverage. The large range of disenrollment rates in each state varies, with the highest of 69% being in Texas and the lowest of 14% in Maine and Oregon. Out of all states with available data, 73% of all those disenrolled were due to procedural reasons.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) continues to run their fall Beyond the Basics webinar series which provides training for assisters to prepare. The next webinar will be on September 28 and will provide guidance on how to help applicants complete the marketplace documentation requirements and will explain how to prevent data matching issues from occurring and how to resolve them when they do occur. For a complete list of the dates and times for the entire webinar series, check out our news item which also has links for the slides and video recording of webinars which have been archived.
The Commonwealth Fund released an issue brief in ensuring that children maintain continuous eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP coverage, as both programs cover nearly half of the 13.3 million children with special healthcare needs according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of the 2017 National Survey of Children’s Health. Continuous eligibility for 24 months would increase children with disabilities healthcare coverage and lower costs for families.
The Georgetown University Center for Children and Families provided an update on the Medicaid Unwinding and Marketplace Enrollment numbers and reiterated that state Medicaid programs must work to lower the rates of procedural terminations for those who would otherwise be eligible for coverage. Solutions would be to change processes for ex-parte renewals and state and federal governments working together to ensure that those reenrolled are done so as quickly as possible to mitigate gaps in coverage.
A paper by the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms reviewed a 50-state assessment of state departments of insurance and their authority to issue rate reviews and their capacity to reduce provider price inflation and improve health insurance affordability. The paper found that while most states have the authority to question rates, states can experience administrative and political barriers from doing so.
As navigators continue to help those who need assistance during the Medicaid unwinding, rural areas are experiencing a lack of access to or awareness of navigators. 72% of disenrollments are due to procedural reasons, which can be mitigated by assistance and guidance from state navigators. Even if rural communities are able to reach a navigator, long call wait times lead to call abandonment, as reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation Health News.
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.
Archives of our weekly updates are available on the NDNRC website.