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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Estate Planning / States Resume Eligibility Checks for Medicaid Leaving 23% Uninsured

States Resume Eligibility Checks for Medicaid Leaving 23% Uninsured


During the pandemic, the federal government offered millions to states to expand Medicaid coverage for their citizens. Now, with the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, many states are renewing eligibility checks. This means that many Americans are being dropped from the Medicaid program leaving them completely uninsured.

A recent survey on the results of resumed checks on Medicaid eligibility found that nearly 1 in 4 people who no longer qualified for Medicaid coverage remain uninsured to this day. Roughly half of those who lost their coverage were ultimately able to reapply and qualify. This suggests that they never should have been denied coverage in the first place. Millions of Americans faced gaps in coverage that potentially endangered their lives.

The survey was conducted by KFF, a nonprofit health policy organization. The survey sought to determine how eligibility checks impacted those on Medicaid, a federal health program that caters to low-income people and Americans with disabilities. The survey found that 23% of Medicaid recipients who were disenrolled during the renewed checks still don’t have any health insurance. These individuals are more likely to struggle to pay for health care, incur debts from emergencies, and delay medical appointments.

During the height of the pandemic, the federal government provided billions in funding for states to not disenroll people from Medicaid until the COVID-19 state of emergency was over. Once the public health emergency ended, eligibility checks resumed last April. This allowed states to pursue these checks at their own pace. Only two states have not begun eligibility checks, Alaska and Oregon.

KFF’s survey found that 19% of those with Medicaid coverage during the pandemic were disenrolled from the program. Among those who were removed, 47% were able to reapply and eventually qualified for Medicaid coverage. Around 1 in 4 secured health insurance from an employer, the military, Medicare, or an Affordable Care Act insurance plan. Medicare is a federal health program that caters to adults aged 65 and older.

The eligibility checks all occurred at roughly the same time leaving millions of Americans without health care coverage across the U.S. The KFF survey indicates that nearly 20.1 million Medicaid recipients were disenrolled since eligibility checks began a year ago. Another 43.6 million had their coverage renewed, while 30.4 million are still awaiting renewals.

A representative from KFF said it was possible that many Americans were mistakenly kicked off Medicaid. She said this would explain why so many people who had previously been removed from the program were soon added back. These removals, however, had an impact on their lives. As many as 56% said that they delayed treatment as a result of not having health insurance for a period of time.

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