Attention Medicaid Recipients: Renewal Process Begins
Starting April 1, every state in the country began undertaking an effort to renew the eligibility for Medicaid recipients over the next 12 months, a process that had been halted for the last few years given the coronavirus public health emergency. This comes as the government starts unwinding some of the measures taken during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. During a press conference on April 4,organized by the UAA Center for Human Development, the ECHO Project, the Alaska Department of Health, and the Division of Public Assistance, officers explained some more details behind this process and what you need to be aware of if you are currently a Medicaid recipient.
Alaska’s Division of Public Assistance has used the annual renewal process to ensure that recipients were still eligible for Medicaid or Denali KidCare every year. However, given the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government established protections to ensure that people were not removed from Medicaid. Deb Etheridge, Alaska’s Director of the Division of Public Assistance listed the Consolidated Appropriations Act as the reason why these protections were ending and why the annual renewal process was returning.
The process of redetermination, where Medicaid eligibility in Alaska will be assessed, will be conducted through March 2024. Etheridge further argued that the state will have to process over 260,000 redeterminations in one year. Nevertheless, they will pay close attention to the process. For this reason, they expect to process around 10,942 redeterminations for the first three months, and will progressively increase the amount up to an expected 26,942 per month starting in September of this year.
To cause the least amount of burden to healthcare providers and individuals, Alaska will use ex parte renewals whenever possible. This process uses automated evaluations of information from the Permanent Fund Dividend or the Department of Labor to determine eligibility. Currently, this will apply to those in the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI database). Those who can’t be assessed with the ex parte renewal will receive a renewal notice and will have 45 days to return that notice to the Division of Public Assistance. Individuals will have access to language support in this process and are expected to receive outreach efforts.
If they are no longer eligible for Medicaid, individuals will be able to request a hearing if they believe that a mistake has been made and will also receive information about how to apply to the Federally Facilitated Marketplace in healthcare.gov for health insurance. However, to ensure that this process goes smoothly, it is very important for individuals to update their contact information by calling 833-441-1870.
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE NEWS, LLC. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska