After being disenrolled from Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), 65% of people had a period of uninsured recent analysis found.
The report comes from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) and uses pre-pandemic data from the 2016-2019 Panel Study on Medical Expenditures. It aimed to examine what might happen to those who are excluded from Medicaid and CHIP , after the continuous enrollment requirement ends on March 31. The requirement was part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was passed in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and barred states from disenrolling people from Medicaid during the public health emergency. In December, Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed into law and will end the continuous enrollment requirement on March 31.
“A key question is whether people who lose Medicaid will be able to switch to and maintain other forms of coverage, including Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace plans with premium assistance or employer-sponsored health benefits,” the report said of KFF.
The analysis found that of the 65% of Medicaid/CHIP enrollees who were uninsured for a post-disenrollment period, 17% were uninsured for the entire year. Another 16% were uninsured for part of the year and then received another form of coverage, and 33% were uninsured and later re-enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP before the end of the year.
Additionally, 35% of enrollees were able to maintain coverage after disenrollment, including 26% who had another source of coverage for the entire year. The remaining 9% had another source of coverage for part of the year and then re-enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP before the end of the year.
The KFF findings have several implications. The research organization estimates that up to 14 million people will lose Medicaid coverage after the continuous enrollment provision ends, and many of these people will likely be uninsured for some time afterward.
“These findings highlight that many people do not switch to and maintain other coverage after opting out of Medicaid/CHIP,” KFF said.
However, there are several steps that state Medicaid agencies and other stakeholders can take to alleviate disruptions. They can improve state eligibility systems and make renewal procedures more efficient. They can also communicate with enrollees about renewing coverage or helping them transition to the ACA Marketplace.
“While our analysis provides a pre-pandemic baseline for people’s health insurance changes after losing Medicaid/CHIP coverage, state waiver policies will have a large impact on whether people will be more successful in transitioning to other coverage after losing Medicaid compared to pre-pandemic trends,” the researchers stated.
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