Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Provision
The pandemic brought challenges very few were prepared for. One such challenge was managing individuals on Medicaid while the country was under a public health emergency.
Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Congress included a provision that required Medicaid programs to keep beneficiaries continuously insured until the end of the month, when the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.
In exchange for extending the Medicaid coverage, states were given enhanced funding from the Federal government. However, an end-of-the year bill is set to end continuous enrollment on March 31, 2023, with enhanced funding to stop at the end of the year.
How Did Continuous Enrollment Help Enrollees?
Medicaid continuous enrollment was implemented to ensure eligible individuals could maintain their Medicaid coverage for 12 months without having to go through the process of reapplying for coverage each year. The reapplication process is notoriously time-consuming. By design, the policy made it easier for people to access the healthcare they need without the risk of losing coverage due to administrative delays or errors.
What Does Unwinding Mean for Enrollees?
The unwinding of Medicaid continuous enrollment will impact millions of Americans relying on Medicaid for their healthcare needs. With Congress voting to end continuous enrollment, individuals are required to reapply for Medicaid coverage every year. The reapplication process could lead to gaps in coverage and delays in accessing necessary healthcare services.
Additionally, by eliminating continuous enrollment, enrollees will likely face administrative burdens when they complete the reapplication process each year. This could be particularly challenging for individuals who face barriers to accessing healthcare due to language, literacy, or other factors.
What Can Enrollees Do?
If you or someone you know is currently enrolled in Medicaid, it is important to stay informed about any impactful changes to the program. State Medicaid agencies and will be mailing communications in the coming months. Keep an eye out for the expected information in addition to asking your healthcare provider any questions you might have.
In the meantime, consider exploring other healthcare options that could provide more consistent coverage. Coverage options may include employer-sponsored health plans, private health insurance plans, or plans available through a health insurance exchange.
A professionally licensed insurance agent can help you understand the different options available so you can make an informed decision about your healthcare coverage.