As part of the coronavirus relief package in 2020, states were forbidden to terminate anyone’s Medicaid coverage who met the program’s eligibility requirements. But that rule no longer applies as of a month ago.
The last month has seen the loss of Medicaid coverage for tens of thousands of low-income Americans as states have hurriedly dismantled the enormous safety net erected during the pandemic’s peak.
A total of 15 million people, including almost 7 million who are still qualified but will be eliminated from coverage because to administrative impediments like missing or incomplete paperwork, have been predicted to lose coverage by the Biden administration.
According to preliminary statistics from states that have already begun the procedure, thousands of individuals are sliding through the gaps and losing coverage due to “procedural” difficulties,
This is happening because the state doesn’t know whether or not people qualified for Medicaid, so they were thrown off coverage even though they could still be eligible.
There are several reasons they could have fallen through the cracks. People could have relocated, and the state lost track of them, or maybe their salary was miscalculated in the state’s records.
States have a year to complete the once-routine process of weeding through Medicaid rosters, but some are going considerably quicker than others.
Advocates have warned of disruption even under the best of scenarios, particularly if governments move rapidly without putting in any effort to determine eligibility.
State officials in Arkansas, for example, are rushing through the redetermination process in only six months, citing budgetary constraints and the desire of Republican governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders to help residents “escape the trap of government dependency.”
Roughly 73,000 Arkansans lost health insurance in the first month, including approximately 27,000 children under 17. The Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University found that over 80% of terminations were due to administrative issues.
More than half of those who had their Medicaid status reviewed in Florida last month had it revoked.