At least 1 million people have been kicked off Medicaid since coverage protections implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic expired in April.
Warning to Medicaid Recipients
Millions of Americans are at risk of losing their Medicaid coverage in the coming months, but residents in Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, New Hampshire, and South Dakota will be the first to bear the brunt of the terminations.
Though the eligibility review is required by the federal government, President Biden’s administration isn’t too pleased with how efficiently some other states are accomplishing the task.
“Pushing through things and rushing it will lead to eligible people — kids, and families — losing coverage for some period of time,” Daniel Tsai, a top federal Medicaid official recently told reporters.
Already, about 1.5 million people have been removed from Medicaid in more than two dozen states that started the process in April or May, according to publicly available reports and data obtained by The Associated Press.
A majority of people kicked off Medicaid in 11 states lost their coverage because they did not complete the paperwork or because the authorities were unable to contact them
Pandemic-Era Medicaid Coverage Ends
Congress basically banned states from removing people from Medicaid coverage during the Covid public health emergency. These protections led to a historic surge in enrollment in the insurance program, which generally provides coverage for people with lower incomes.
Those protections expired in April after Congress passed spending legislation in December that gave states the green light to start reviewing peoples’ eligibility for the first time in years.
Medicaid is administered by the states but heavily financed by the federal government.
Colorado To Use Medicaid For Free Lunches
The Colorado Department of Education said Tuesday that school districts can use Medicaid enrollment data to qualify students for free and reduced-price meals, helping to fill a gap created by the state’s new universal free lunch program.
Measure FF, which voters approved in November, allows districts to opt-in to a program that would provide free meals for all students by levying a tax on the state’s highest earners.
Districts get federal money per student who qualifies and it also helps them apply for grants. CDE’s announcement of incorporating Medicaid data to identify students will help remedy this problem.
However it won’t fix all the concerns. Families not enrolled in Medicaid and who qualify for free and reduced meals will still have to fill out the forms so they don’t fall through the cracks.
The state said families who qualify may receive extra benefits like bus passes and help with utilities too.
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