Over 20mn People Dropped From Medicaid Amid Redeterminations

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Throughout 2023, over 20 million Medicaid beneficiaries in the US have disenrolled from the safety-net insurance program as the states started to resume checking eligibility for coverage after a pandemic-era pause.

In total, 31% of people having a completed redetermination got disenrolled from Medicaid as of April 11, as per KFF, a tracker by a health policy research firm. 69%, or, one can say, above a million people, got their coverage renewed.

It is well to be noted that many people who got eliminated from Medicaid have not found other coverage yet. Almost a quarter of adults who happened to be disenrolled since early 2023 report at present being uninsured, as per the KFF survey.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, enrolment within the Medicaid saw a hike due to the Families First Coronavirus Act, which happened to provide increased federal funds for states as long as they went on to agree to not eliminate the beneficiaries from the coverage during the public health emergency.

However, that period pertaining to continuous enrolment ended almost a year ago, and states have since then been gauging who is still eligible when it comes to the safety net program.

The fact is that this process has been confusing for certain Medicaid enrolees, as per the research. Almost two-thirds were not sure if the states could eliminate the beneficiaries from the program if they did not happen to meet eligibility needs, according to a survey published shortly post unwinding began in 2023.

Apparently, there has also been quite a significant variation throughout the states when it comes to redeterminations, and there are numerous people who have been disenrolled due to procedural reasons, says KFF. In states having available data, 69% happened to have their coverage terminated due to the fact that they did not complete the renewal process, which, by the way, could mean that they are still eligible.

Notably, as the unwinding continued in 2023, regulators stepped in to go ahead and stem the tide of procedural disenrollments. That could happen due to the fact that the beneficiaries did not understand the process or because the state went ahead and listed outdated contact information.

Regulators also went on to pause the disenrollments in some states and, at the same time, issued an order in 2023 fall that specifically aimed to safeguard the children from being inappropriately disenrolled because of a system issue with automatic renewals.

Children comprised 37% of disenrollments across the 14 states that reported age breakdowns, says the latest KFF update. Interestingly, Texas happens to have a disproportionate impact on the number of children who have disenrolled because of its large size. The children’s share of Medicaid was recorded at 65% in the state, as compared to 20% which was seen in Oregon.