How to renew Medicaid as coverage cliff approaches
Medicaid coverage may soon end for millions of Americans as a pandemic-era rule nears its end.
The big picture: U.S. states will undergo a phased "unwinding" of coverage after years of Medicaid agencies being required under the COVID public health emergency to provide continuous Medicaid coverage to all enrollees, even if their eligibility changed.
- Between five and 14 million people across the nation could lose Medicaid coverage in the coming year, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates.
Beginning April 1, five states — Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, New Hampshire and South Dakota — will terminate coverage for Americans who no longer qualify or have not proven they still qualify.
- The unwinding process could take 12 to 14 months in each state, per a Department of Health and Human Services analysis.
- Other states will begin removing Americans from coverage between May and July.
- Children, young adults and Latino and Black individuals are expected to lose coverage disproportionately, per the DHS.
Flashback: Before the public health emergency, individuals could be removed from the program annually if they did not report a change in family status or if their income was too high, among other changes.
- States have been required to develop operational plans for operating after the continuous enrollment provision ends.
How to renew Medicaid coverage
- To renew Medicaid coverage, ensure that your state has your current mailing address, phone number, email or other contact information.
- Some states have created online platforms to allow people to renew Medicaid coverage through an online account. Thirteen states have created online change of address forms, per KFF.
- Also, check your mail frequently.
- "Your state will mail you a letter about your coverage. This letter will let you know if you need to complete a renewal form to see if you still qualify for Medicaid or CHIP," per Medicaid.
- If you receive a Medicaid renewal form, fill out the form and return it to your state quickly to avoid a gap in coverage.
If Medicaid coverage expires, "you may be able to buy a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and get help paying for it," per the program's website.