Nearly 3 million people cut from Medicaid coverage even though many might still be eligible

CNBC – Nearly three million people have been kicked off Medicaid since Covid-19 pandemic protections expired in April, with three-quarters of those individuals losing coverage despite the fact they may still be eligible for the public health insurance program, according to data from health researcher KFF.

Medicaid is the public health insurance program for lower-income individuals and families. It is heavily financed by the federal government but largely managed by state governments.

The widespread removal of coverage is a worrying trend because people who lose one form of insurance often struggle to find alternative coverage due to the complexity of the U.S. health insurance system, putting them at risk of ultimately becoming uninsured.

About 75% of the 2.7 million people who have lost Medicaid coverage across 32 states and Washington, D.C., were booted from the program because they did not complete the process to renew their coverage, according to the the most recent data, which was published Monday.

That means their insurance may have been terminated even though they are still eligible for Medicaid.

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Texas and Florida account for the largest shares of people kicked off Medicaid in recent months. Half a million people have lost their coverage in Texas, 81% of whom had their insurance terminated because they did not complete the renewal process. In Florida, 300,000 people lost coverage, 65% of whom did not complete the paperwork.

The number of people who have lost Medicaid coverage will only increase this month as another 11 states start the renewal process for the first time in two years, including large states such as California and New York.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that as many as 15 million people could lose coverage when everything is said and done, though many of these individuals are expected to transition to alternative insurance.

Still, nearly seven million people might lose Medicaid coverage even though they remain eligible for the program, according to HHS … READ MORE. 

Medicaid Enrollment and Unwinding Tracker

Published: Jul 18, 2023

OVERVIEW STATE ENROLLMENT AND UNWINDING DATA NATIONAL ENROLLMENT DATA ABOUT THE DATA | Note: This tracker was first published on May 3 and is updated regularly as new data become available.
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KFF HEALTH NEWS – The Medicaid Enrollment and Unwinding Tracker presents the most recent data on monthly Medicaid enrollment, renewals, disenrollments, and other key indicators reported by states during the unwinding of the Medicaid continuous enrollment provision. The unwinding data are pulled from state websites, where available, and from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

To view data for specific states, click on the State Enrollment and Unwinding Data tab.

State Medicaid Disenrollment Data

At least 2,889,000 Medicaid enrollees have been disenrolled as of July 18, 2023, based on the most current data from 32 states and the District of Columbia.

Overall, 41% of people with a completed renewal were disenrolled in reporting states while 59%, or 3.7 million enrollees, had their coverage renewed (four of the reporting states do not provide data on renewed enrollees). Because not all states have publicly available data on total disenrollments, the data reported here undercount the actual number of disenrollments.

There is wide variation in disenrollment rates across reporting states, ranging from 82% in Texas to 10% in Michigan. Differences in who states are targeting with early renewals as well as differences in renewal policies and systems capacity likely explain some of the variation in disenrollment rates.

Some states (such as Texas and Idaho) are initially targeting people early in the unwinding period that they think are no longer eligible or who did not respond to renewal requests during the pandemic, but other states are conducting renewals based on an individual’s renewal date.

Additionally, some states have adopted several policies that promote continued coverage among those who remain eligible and have automated eligibility systems that can more easily and accurately process renewals while other states have adopted fewer of these policies and have more manually-driven systems.

(Note: disenrollment rate calculations do not include renewals that are still pending. If these pending renewals, which are large in many states, were included, the disenrollment rates would be lower. For example, South Carolina’s disenrollment rate would drop from 72% to 46% if pending renewals in the state were included in the calculation. More detailed information on completed and pending renewals for states is available here.)

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