Did you hear that states are doing their yearly Medicaid eligibility checks again? Here’s a breakdown of recent Medicaid news and steps you can take to keep your health coverage:
What’s happening with Medicaid?
During the pandemic, states weren’t allowed to remove anyone from Medicaid. Now, states are looking at their lists again and taking off people who haven’t verified their information or who no longer meet income requirements.
Because of staffing shortages, lost mail, challenging paperwork, and outdated computer systems, millions of Americans have lost Medicaid by mistake. In September, the federal government discovered that 30 states have taken entire families off of state health insurance because of computer errors.
If you get benefits like SNAP or Social Security, or if different members of your family qualify for different health insurance programs (for example, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or, CHIP), you’re more likely to have lost your Medicaid by accident.
These problems have hit every state differently. We don’t know how long it will take to fix state systems, but the federal government is requiring states to re-enroll eligible individuals as soon as possible.
Know your rights for renewing Medicaid
Think you or your family members lost Medicaid by mistake? Here’s what you can do:
- Contact your Medicaid office. Call your local Medicaid office or log in to your state health department website for your latest enrollment status. Your kids might still qualify for Medicaid even if you don’t. Your state may also pay back medical bills you received after you lost coverage.
- Update your info. Moved homes or got a new phone number? Tell your Medicaid office right away so you don’t miss any important letters or calls.
- Return your renewal papers – even if you’re no longer eligible. If you receive a renewal packet, fill it out and send it back, even if you think you don’t qualify for Medicaid anymore. This can help you find other low- to no-cost health plans. Need help with the forms? Your state may allow Managed Care Organizations, Federally Qualified Health Centers, or a representative to help you over the phone.
- Re-submit your paperwork or request a fair hearing. If you think you’re eligible for Medicaid but lost coverage, ask your state to double-check your status. You can send in your forms again or ask for a fair hearing. Contact your Medicaid office within 90 days after you lose your benefits.
- Follow trusted sources of information. Medicaid offices will never text you asking for personal details or money to renew your enrollment status. Don’t trust websites unless they end with “.gov” or “.org”.