HHS offers states new Medicaid rescheduling flexibility

The Department of Health and Human Services announced new flexibility for states to use during the Medicaid rescheduling process, as Secretary Javier Becerra expressed concern over the number of enrollees dropped from the program.

Expanded flexibility allows managed care plans to assist beneficiaries with enrollment, including filling out some renewal forms, and enables state Medicaid agencies to defer administrative terminations by one month to allow greater outreach to individuals. permission can be obtained. Pharmacies and community-based organizations will also be allowed to assist people who have lost coverage for administrative reasons with re-enrollment.

“I am deeply concerned about the number of people who are unnecessarily losing coverage, especially those who have lost coverage for avoidable reasons,” Becerra said in a letter released Monday to state governors. have the power to stop or reduce.”

first states started large scale undertaking To reschedule the eligibility of more than 90 million Medicaid beneficiaries two months ago. As of Monday, at least 1,027,000 Medicaid enrollees have lost coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

HHS and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have forewarned state Medicaid agencies about removing too many eligible enrollees from the rolls, pointing to available flexibilities, such as a 90-day special enrollment period for anyone who loses coverage during the process, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and enrollment and renewal of family entitlements on the basis of temporary assistance to the needy. State Medicaid agencies are also required by federal law to automatically renew as many beneficiaries as possible based on available data sources, which is known as unilateral renewal.

“No one who is not eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program should lose coverage simply because they changed addresses, didn’t receive the forms, or didn’t know about the renewal process,” Becerra said in a news release. There wasn’t enough information.” We encourage states to use all available flexibility to ensure that children and families do not lose coverage. We also urge states to work with local governments, community organizations, and schools to reach people eligible for Medicaid and CHIP where they are.

The National Association of Medicaid Directors, which represents Medicaid programs in 56 states and territories, came out in support of the agency’s call to take further action to maintain coverage for beneficiaries who are still eligible.

“We join our federal partners in agreeing that we need more support from health care providers, community advocates, clergy and employers to help us overcome this central challenge in this historically unprecedented effort Needed. We also urge all interested parties to help us promote two key messages: 1) that members should be involved in the eligibility process; and 2) that Medicaid coverage for eligible people, unlike private coverage, can always be reinstated at any point on a rolling basis,” NAMD executive director Kate McEvoy said in an emailed statement.

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