Report: Most adults don't know Medicaid renewals will resume after PHE - MedCity News

Medicaid coverage,

Most adults with family Medicaid coverage do not know that after the end of the public health emergency Covid-19, regular Medicaid renewals will return, a new report shown

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act required continued coverage for Medicaid enrollees and prohibited states from disenrolling beneficiaries during a public health emergency. In return, they received higher federal Medicaid funding. But once the public health emergency ends β€” which is currently set for January but could be extended again β€” state Medicaid agencies will return to the normal renewal process.

The Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report released Tuesday used data from a June survey. It found that when asked if they had heard about their state’s return to renewal after the end of the public health emergency, 5% of adults with family Medicaid coverage said they had heard a lot about it, 16.2% said they heard some, 15.7% said they heard only a little, and a whopping 62% said they heard nothing.

Of those who heard at least something about returning to renewal, they got the information mostly from the media – 34.3%. This includes social media, television, radio and newspapers. Consumers then obtained their information from a government agency (30.6%), a health insurance company (24.5%), a health care provider (17.8%), or somewhere else (6.5%). This suggests that “other sources of information, particularly state Medicaid agencies, could play a greater role in communicating the change and the implications for enrollees,” the report said.

Additionally, of those who received information from government agencies or health plans, 50.4% received a notification that they needed to renew coverage, 36.4% received a request to verify their address or contact information, and 34.4 % received a request to update income or other factors. Only 29.1% received information about other sources of coverage, and 21.3% received information on how to get consumer assistance for the renewal process.

Once the public health emergency is over, it is provided for that 17.5 percent of Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance program participants will lose coverage, amounting to about 15 million people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Notifying people about the return of Medicaid renewals won’t be easy, the researchers say.

“Low awareness of resuming Medicaid renewals indicates that state programs may face significant information gaps among enrollees about the looming change,” the report states. β€œAnd effective communication on this issue is a challenge, given that a specific end date of [public health emergency] was not asked at the time of the survey and is still under consideration.’

Still, there are some things Medicaid agencies can do, such as automatically renewing some enrollees. Those agencies are also required to have a plan in place for the end of the public health emergency, the report said.

“It will be critical that they take advantage of these tools to ensure that enrollees who remain eligible do not lose coverage unnecessarily and that those who lose eligibility are connected to other affordable coverage, such as that available through Marketplaces,” the researchers state.

Photo: designer491, Getty Images

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