Many lapsed Medicaid recipients will enroll in ACA health insurance plans

Health insurance - Affordable Care Act Form

Experts and insurers have predicted that after losing old coverage, there will be an influx of policy shopping.

Health insurance companies and advisors alike are preparing for a notable surge of consumers looking for assistance in navigating Affordable Care Act enrollment after having lost Medicaid coverage in 2023.

As of April, this year, the extensions for coverage that were put into place during the pandemic ended.

Beginning April 1, 2023, the Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage extensions that were put into place throughout the worst of the pandemic came to an end. This meant that recipients who had not been required to reapply to remain covered by those programs during the first years of the pandemic were suddenly required to return to completing an annual renewal to determine if their coverage eligibility was to continue.

Health insurance - Children's Health Insurance Program

If they did not reapply or if they did not qualify for Medicaid or CHIP for other reasons, they were required to seek out coverage through other channels. This meant looking for coverage through Medicare, through CHIP, their employer, or through the Affordable Care Act, for example.

The health insurance enrollment window for the Affordable Care Act is now open and people are shopping.

As of the start of this month, the 2024 open enrollment window opened for coverage through the Affordable Care Act. This has led many people who had been covered through Medicaid, but who lost their eligibility, to look to the ACA’s online marketplaces. These marketplaces provide an opportunity to ensure that new coverage will be in place the moment coverage is lost.

That said, it’s important to point out that even those who lost Medicaid and had already enrolled in coverage through the ACA will still need to visit the marketplace to renew their coverage for next year. This is because the previous coverage will come to an end at the close of December. A new or renewed health insurance policy will need to be in place for January 1 to ensure that coverage continues uninterrupted.

For this reason, insurers and advisors are ready to help guide consumers to make the right choices for their coverage needs and budgets.

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