Since the expiration of pandemic safeguards, one million people have lost their Medicaid coverage

Medicaid coverage

According to data published by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), at least 1 million people have been removed from Medicaid since coverage protections implemented during the Covid-19 pandemic expired in April. However, the actual number of people kicked off Medicaid is likely higher, as only 20 states are making those figures publicly available. Many individuals are losing Medicaid coverage despite remaining eligible for the program.

In 11 states, the majority of people who were removed from Medicaid lost their coverage either due to incomplete paperwork or authorities being unable to contact them, as per the KFF report. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra expressed deep concern over eligible individuals losing Medicaid coverage due to paperwork issues and urged governors to take action to ensure people remain enrolled in the program. Becerra specifically highlighted the risk of children losing insurance if their parents are kicked off Medicaid, emphasizing the need for parents to fill out renewal forms for their children, even if they believe they are no longer eligible.

During the Covid-19 public health emergency, Congress prohibited states from removing people from Medicaid coverage. However, these protections expired in April, allowing states to start reviewing individuals’ eligibility once again. Medicaid is administered by the states but receives significant financing from the federal government. States are required to make efforts to contact individuals during the renewal process using multiple communication methods and cannot terminate coverage solely based on undeliverable renewal paperwork.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that around 15 million people will lose Medicaid coverage as states review eligibility. While some individuals will be eligible for insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace or an employer, approximately 6.8 million people are expected to lose Medicaid coverage despite remaining eligible.

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