Over 2 million children lost their coverage this year, but experts say that often, it was due to errors.
At least two million kids from low-income families lost their Medicaid health insurance coverage this year as the federal policy from the pandemic era came to a close. This, according to new research analyses conducted by the KFF and the Georgetown Center for Children and Families.
It is likely that the figure is notably higher, according to experts, as the shift occurred very quickly.
According to a New York Times report, it is likely that far more kids lost their Medicaid health insurance in this wave. It was one of the sharpest and fastest alterations in the American program since it was first created in 1965, said the report
Among the issues with this change was that many of the kids who lost their Medicaid coverage were eligible to continue receiving this assistance. It was bureaucratic errors and missing paperwork that led them to be dropped from the program.
The researchers did not include a tally of how many of those children are now covered by new plans since the program started dropping enrollees seven months ago. That said, Georgetown center executive director Joan Alker, a research professor from that university’s McCourt School of Public Policy explained that there are likely at least a million kids who still don’t have coverage.
The lost health insurance coverage trend is also believed to be accelerating among American kids.
According to Alker, state figures released in coming weeks are likely to reveal that it will be closer to three million children who have lost their Medicaid coverage.
“This is an unprecedented situation,” said Alker. She went on to say that the change to the program “has the potential to increase the uninsured rate for children by the largest amount that we’ve seen in decades.”
According to federal forecasts last year, over five million kids would end up losing their health insurance coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Medicaid as those programs recreate their eligibility criteria. This process has been referred to as the “unwinding”.