In early 2020, Congress put into place protections for people enrolled in Medicaid to ensure that they were able to stay covered during the COVID-19 pandemic. This policy, called the continuous coverage requirement, is linked to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). When the PHE ends, states will need to…
How does the COVID-19 public health emergency impact Medicaid?
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), COVID-19 relief legislation signed into law in March 2020, put into place protections for people enrolled in Medicaid to ensure that they were able to stay covered during the pandemic.
FFCRA provided states with additional Medicaid funding as long as they keep people enrolled in Medicaid coverage during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Under this policy, called the “continuous coverage requirement,” people remain eligible for Medicaid even if they have a change in their income or family size that would have made them ineligible for Medicaid under normal circumstances.
When the PHE ends, states will need to begin "unwinding" the continuous coverage requirement by reviewing the eligibility of every person enrolled in Medicaid in the state to determine if they are still eligible. Our FAQ explains how the unwinding process works.
Due to structural racism, Black and Latino/a individuals are more likely to have experienced instability in employment and housing during the pandemic, which means they will be at greater risk of not receiving renewal forms and losing their Medicaid coverage than white enrollees.
There are a number of reasons why people who are still eligible for Medicaid could lose their coverage, such as:
- They moved or changed their contact information so they won't receive renewal notices.
- The renewal notice they receive is confusing or written in a language they don't speak.
- They have questions about the process but can’t reach the Medicaid agency’s call center because of long wait times.
Even though many enrollees who are no longer eligible for Medicaid will be eligible for subsidies (PTC and CSR) on the marketplace, they could still end up uninsured if they haven’t heard about the marketplace or have difficulty completing the marketplace application.
But assisters can play a critical role in helping people stay covered! Here are just a few ways in which assisters can help:
- Doing community outreach and education to make sure people know about these upcoming changes.
- Helping people update their address and contact information with the Medicaid agency so they receive letters and notices.
- Providing enrollment assistance to people who lose their Medicaid coverage.
In this Beyond the Basics webinar presented by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on December 8, 2021, Jen Wagner, Director of Medicaid Eligibility & Enrollment, and Farah Erzouki, Senior Policy Analyst, explained important upcoming changes that will impact people who are enrolled in Medicaid and may lead to…