Beginning April 1, millions of Latinos will lose Medicaid
by carlos matías
Fourteen million people, many Latinos, and children, will lose Medicaid on April 1. On that day, states will re-verify their beneficiaries’ eligibility for the first time in three years. Medicaid provided continuous medical coverage in the wake of the pandemic. In Alaska, from the current 234,000 registered, about 28,000 people will lose Medicaid. Nationwide, five million Latinos will be affected.
Continued Medicaid coverage ends on March 31. On April 1, regular renewals become mandatory again. In other words, paperwork must be completed periodically so as not to lose health coverage.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, most people qualified to receive Medicaid services without interruption and without having to fill out renewal paperwork. But as of April 1, those who do not renew will be left unprotected. There are nearly 84 million people enrolled over a 12-month period.
Nearly 18 million people are at risk, and this includes nearly seven million people who will remain eligible but will lose their coverage because of administrative errors such as having outdated contact information, going through a confusing renewal process, not sending their documentation on time, or having access to information about their coverage exclusively in English.
“The impact of this loss of coverage will be felt most by Latinos and children,” Laura Guerra-Cardús, Ph.D., director of State Medicaid Strategy on the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ (CBPP) Health team, tells Sol de Medianoche. “Research predicts that, of the Latinos who will lose coverage, the majority (64%) will remain eligible, and of every four children who will lose coverage during disenrollment, three will remain eligible.”
To avoid losing health coverage, individuals with Medicaid must complete the eligibility renewal process. They should contact their state Medicaid office and make sure their contact information and mailing address are up to date. They should check their mail and watch for a letter with information about their Medicaid or CHIP coverage.
If they receive a renewal form, they should be sure to complete it and send it back. They could receive their renewal notice any time this year or early next year. If they no longer qualify, they may be able to get affordable health coverage through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. For more information, visit HealthCare.gov (or the health insurance marketplace in your state) or call 1-800-318-2596.
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