Nov 20, 2023 - News

Where to find help navigating Medicaid loss in Texas

Illustration of a wall of cracks with bandaid-shaped red crosses

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than a million Texans, mostly children, lost Medicaid health insurance they were eligible for in recent months as paperwork fell through the cracks.

Ana Rangel works at Los Barrios Unidos Community Clinic, with locations across Dallas. She helps eligible families re-enroll in Medicaid after they've lost coverage or helps them find insurance elsewhere.

  • Los Barrios, as a federally qualified health center, serves people without insurance and offers sliding scale fees.

Zoom in: A family who re-enrolls in Medicaid at Los Barrios clinics usually receives a faster response, because they have state eligibility workers on-site to help, Rangel tells Axios.

  • Rangel says application processing takes about 10-15 days there, instead of the 45-60 days more typical if a family goes it alone.

By the numbers: The volume of renewal applications has soared this year compared to before the pandemic, Rangel says.

  • The clinic helps with about 100 or more applications per week now. Before COVID-19 hit, the clinic helped with about 60-70 applications weekly.

Yes, but: Even with the faster turnaround time, processing remains difficult. The state portals to re-enroll someone are continually down, causing more delays, Rangel says.

The bottom line: Pediatric care for children up to age 5 is "crucial," Rangel says. But kids are missing check-ups or access to medications because families fear large bills and don't know how to navigate the process.

  • She encourages people to find a federally qualified health center near them to help determine their eligibility and receive medical care on a sliding scale regardless of insurance coverage.

Find a location near you by searching online.


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