Eight months into Maryland’s massive Medicaid eligibility review, a new picture emerges: while some areas and demographics hold onto coverage, others face losses. The state health department vows to intensify outreach in the final four months, targeting hard-to-reach populations who may remain eligible yet fall through the cracks.
Since May, over 245,000 Marylanders have lost Medicaid coverage during the “unwinding” period, a reassessment triggered by the end of pandemic-era automatic enrollment. The department embarked on the daunting task of reevaluating nearly 1.8 million enrollees to determine their continued eligibility.
Am I Getting Excluded from Medicaid?
Based on a report released in January, covering data from March to December 2023, the Department of Health has successfully reviewed approximately 1.08 million Medicaid enrollees undergoing redetermination. The process of Medicaid disenrollment commenced in May. During the period from May to December, around 751,000 Medicaid enrollees underwent evaluation, with approximately 69% retaining their enrollment status.
Out of this group, about 93,600 individuals were deemed ineligible for Medicaid coverage. Reasons for ineligibility included surpassing the income threshold for the low-income health care program or transitioning into Medicare, the federal health care plan for retirees.
Individuals no longer qualifying for Medicaid due to income are advised to explore private plans available on the state’s health insurance marketplace known as the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange. It’s essential to note that a portion of Medicaid enrollees may face disenrollment for “procedural reasons.” This refers to instances where individuals either did not submit a reevaluation application or initiated the process but did not complete it.
Those disenrolled for procedural reasons may still meet the criteria for Medicaid coverage. However, the state lacks confirmation because the individuals did not finalize the reapplication process. The number of procedural terminations holds significance for the Department of Health, aiming to ensure that eligible Marylanders maintain their access to healthcare.
Keeping Health Insurance During Medicaid “Unwinding”
As states resume regular eligibility reviews for Medicaid, some individuals may face potential changes in their coverage. Let’s take a closer look at your options, if you fall into the groups of people that will be ousted from Medicaid.
First, contact your state Medicaid agency and ensure your mailing address and phone number are current. Missing notifications can lead to coverage loss. Stay aware of letters sent to you in the recent weeks. Missing deadlines, even if you remain eligible, could result in termination.
Furthermore, seek assistance in your community. Free assistance is available from trained community professionals. Let them guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected. If you no longer qualify for Medicaid, explore options on Healthcare.gov. Consider applying early to avoid coverage gaps and save some money. Well, there’s no such thing as “free” healthcare, but we all to pay the less amount possible.