Access to healthcare services, doctors, medications, therapies, and vaccines can have life-changing impacts. That is why healthcare coverage is essential. However, staying covered takes action, especially since the restart of annual eligibility reviews for millions of individuals and families who get their coverage through Medicaid.
What has changed?
During the pandemic, the federal government enacted a Public Health Emergency (PHE), which meant that individuals covered by Medicaid were allowed to stay covered regardless of whether their eligibility had changed. This helped prevent coverage gaps during the health crisis; however, the annual renewal process restarted in early 2023, to ensure Medicaid program enrollees were still eligible to receive benefits.
“This process, called ‘the unwinding,’ impacts approximately 92 million people, who must act to keep coverage, or explore coverage options if they no longer qualify to continue receiving Medicaid, so it can be an anxious time for a lot of individuals and families,” said Kurt Small, Elevance Health Medicaid President.
Reports show that more than 11 million people have been disenrolled from Medicaid since renewals resumed, and approximately 2 million of them are children. Many more could also be at risk if they do not confirm their eligibility.
“I have seen firsthand how health insurance coverage can be complex to navigate,” said Small. “Sometimes people may go without insurance, simply because they weren’t aware of resources that could help them stay covered. But going without health insurance is a risk that no one should have to take, and that is why so many resources have been made available to help.”
Medicaid renewal next steps:
Every state Medicaid program has been actively reaching out to enrollees and directing them to resources for renewing their coverage. If you or a loved one are impacted, and need to review and renew your Medicaid coverage, consider these resources:
- MyHealthBenefitFinder.com — This self-service tool helps people explore available health coverage options. It asks a few, simple questions and provides guidance on how to access coverage. It can also provide information about various low-cost or free resources and programs that can help with other needs, including transportation, housing and childcare.
- Medicaid.gov — This website has several guides to help people understand what they need to do to renew their Medicaid or CHIP coverage, and it helps them find their state’s Medicaid contact information.
- Healthcare.gov — This resource is useful for people who have lost Medicaid eligibility, but may now qualify for a subsidized Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plan on the Marketplace Exchange. For those who qualify, some plans cost as little as $0 a month. Open enrollment periods vary by circumstances and states, but are available to most through January 15, 2024.
In addition to these online resources, Elevance Health’s affiliated health plans provide personalized assistance through dedicated representatives, who are available 12 hours a day, Monday to Friday. These representatives can provide personalized assistance through dedicated representatives who can answer unique questions and offer support in multiple languages. To reach these representatives, health plan members should call the customer service number on their health plan ID card.
“This is an unprecedented time for Medicaid, a program that provides access to critical health care services. I lead Medicaid programs at Elevance Health, which serve more than 11 million people across the nation, and we stand committed to serving as a trusted healthcare partner to provide expert assistance, online tools and other resources that can simplify the renewal and enrollment process, so people can stay covered,” said Small.