Feb 27, 2023 - Health

Kids could soon fall off Medicaid rolls

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Almost 7 million children and teens are at risk of losing their health coverage when the public health emergency ends, new estimates from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute show.

Why it matters: States in April will begin redetermining Medicaid eligibility as pandemic-inspired coverage requirements lapse and enhanced federal matching funds dry up.

  • Kids will fall off program rolls even though upward of 70% will remain technically eligible, per federal estimates. Confusing messaging and lack of enough staffing at state agencies are expected to factor in the churn.

By the numbers: States face the daunting task of redetermining eligibility for more than 83 million people, including 34.2 million children, by the spring of 2024.

  • 54% of children and teens are covered by Medicaid or CHIP.
  • While most states have continuous coverage safeguards for children, 17 don't, which could increase the likelihood of eligible kids dropping out.

"Millions of (kids) will fall by the wayside if states don't get this right," Joan Alker, executive director of the Georgetown Center for Children and Families, told Axios. "That's consequential for everyone this will be an administrative and cost burden for providers; this will have ripple effects."

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