Medicaid health insurance coverage at stake for many people because of paperwork issues

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People in a number of states have been struggling with paperwork issues and are losing their coverage.

Procedural challenges and paperwork problems are being blamed for a rash of people losing their Medicaid health insurance coverage in several states throughout the country.

The Health and Human Services Secretary is urging states to Health and Human Services Secretary do more to keep residents enrolled.

Xavier Becerra, , is calling for states to do more to make sure their lower-income residents have the ability to remain covered by Medicaid health insurance coverage. The Biden administration recently released data showing that many people who had been covered during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic are now losing that coverage.

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While a reduction in Medicaid coverage isn’t a surprise, health officials have been alarmed at the massive number of people who are falling out of coverage eligibility as a result of failing to follow procedures or return certain forms.

There are 18 states that launched a post-pandemic review of the people covered by their Medicaid. This started back in April, making it possible for around a million people to keep their coverage but for another 715,000 people to have lost it. Among those who were dropped from coverage, 4 out of every 5 lost it due to procedural reasons, said new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data.

Becerra is hoping that governors will make moves to boost Medicaid health insurance coverage.

Becerra recently issued a letter to all state governors to encourage them to support strategies to keep people covered by Medicaid. He made a specific push to encourage the use of electronic information from other federal programs (such as food stamps), for automatic eligibility confirmation for Medicaid. In this way, it would greatly reduce the need to complete and mail documents associated with verification of eligibility.

“I am deeply concerned about high rates of procedural terminations due to ‘red tape’ and other paperwork issues,” said Becerra in his letter to the governors.

Throughout the worst of the pandemic, states were banned from terminating people’s Medicaid health insurance coverage. This caused enrollment figures to skyrocket from 71 million in February 2020 to 93 million in February 2023. The ban ended in April, and states returned to their prior eligibility requirements.

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