- About 64% of adults in a Medicaid-enrolled family in December said they did not know they may lose coverage once pandemic-era policy ends and eligibility checks resume on April 1, according to a survey from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
- The percentage of respondents who said they heard nothing about upcoming Medicaid renewals rose from June, when 62% said they knew nothing about the changes, the survey found.
- Awareness was low across the board regardless of geographic region or a state’s Medicaid expansion status, according to the survey.
The federal government barred states from resuming Medicaid eligibility checks amid widespread job losses and other challenges during the pandemic.
Once eligibility checks resume, as many as 18 million people are expected to lose coverage, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
About 7 million of those people are expected to gain coverage through the individual markets or employer-sponsored plans, though 8 million will not and will likely become uninsured, according to a report from Moody’s Investor Services.
Awareness levels regarding looming redetermination checks remained low and varied only slightly regionally, the report found.
Similarly, above 60% of respondents reported unawareness of Medicaid redeterminations both in Medicaid expansion states and those that haven’t expanded Medicaid, “which suggests the need for widespread outreach and education efforts,” the report said.
“Reducing information gaps about the change is a critical first step,” the report said.
In non-expansion states, people will need help learning about navigating marketplace options, while in expansion states they’ll need information on how to stay enrolled, the report said.
The suspension of eligibility checks led Medicaid membership to rise substantially during the pandemic, growing from 70.7 million members in February 2020 to 90.9 million in September, according to the Moody’s Investor Services report.
The end of the policy is expected to deal a blow to payers that have touted recent enrollment growth while hospitals could see more self-pay patients and “higher bad debt” for facilities, the Moody’s report said.