- Around two-thirds of Medicaid enrollees weren’t sure whether states could now remove people from the program if they don’t meet eligibility requirements or haven’t renewed their coverage, according to a survey conducted by KFF.
- The results come nearly two months after states were allowed to begin Medicaid redeterminations. States were required to provide continuous enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic, in exchange for increased federal funding, but provisions expired April 1.
- According to the survey, 27% of adults with Medicaid as their sole source of coverage said they wouldn’t know where to look for health insurance if they were now deemed ineligible. Another 15% said they’d be uninsured.
Medicaid rolls ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic due to rules requiring continuous enrollment in the program.
New projections from the Congressional Budget Office found the U.S. is on track to hit a record-low 8.3% uninsurance rate this year, with lower-income Americans benefiting the most from these gains.
But as pandemic-era policies end, lower-income Americans could also be the hardest hit. The CBO estimated 15.5 million people could leave the Medicaid program over the next year and half. The CMS has said the end of continuous enrollment marks “the single largest health coverage transition event” since the first Affordable Care Act open enrollment period.
In March, another KFF survey found most states are planning to take at least a year to figure out who is still eligible for Medicaid coverage.
Still, the latest survey, fielded Feb. 21 through March 14, found many enrollees aren’t prepared for the redeterminations process. Nearly half said they hadn’t previously renewed their Medicaid coverage, which includes 68% of enrollees 65 and older and 53% between the ages of 18 and 29.
About one-third reported they hadn’t provided updated contact information to their state’s Medicaid agency in the past year. Meanwhile only 35% said they had or were unsure if they had a change in income or other update that could make them ineligible.
Nearly nine in 10 reported having a navigator help them renew or look for new coverage would be at least somewhat useful.
The KFF survey results tracked with an earlier survey conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which found about 64% of adults in a Medicaid-enrolled family in December did not know they might lose coverage.