Medicaid health insurance coverage is gone for 400k Ohio residents

Health Insurance - Ohio Flag - Medicaid

Since the “unwinding” of the pandemic rules, hundreds of thousands lost coverage.

Since the pandemic enrollment rules have been unwound, around 395,000 Ohio residents have lost their health insurance through Medicaid, and that figure is expected to rise. 

It has now been a year since the state ceased the “continuous enrollment”

Within the year since the continuous enrollment in Medicaid health insurance – that had previously been a requirement under coronavirus relief legislation from the federal government – hundreds of thousands of people in Ohio lost that coverage.  According to state data, that figure includes about 114,000 kids

Health Insurance - Kids no coverage

This places Ohio as the fourth highest state in the country for disenrolling children from Medicaid.  It is an issue notable enough that it was underscored in a letter to Governor Mike DeWine from federal officials last December. That said, Ohio state officials argue the interpretation of that number by pointing out that the percentage of child disenrollment overall was substantially lower than the other states mentioned in the letter from the federal officials.

The latest Medicaid health insurance figures reach February 2024

The most recent available disenrollment data runs until February. That said, the totals are expected to climb once March and April 2024 are included, said Medicaid officials.  This month will essentially bring the unwinding cycle to an end.

Since April 2023, residents of Ohio stopped automatically keeping their Medicaid at renewal time.  During the worst of the pandemic, instead of requiring residents to confirm their eligibility at each renewal time, they were automatically kept on.  That rule came to an end at this time last year, followed by twelve months of disenrollments as previously covered Ohio residents did not confirm eligibility for another year.

Widespread eligibility checking

This has also meant that the state’s Medicaid health insurance has been required to undergo a huge eligibility check, as the number of covered residents had bloated to 3.2 million.  What has yet to be seen is if the disenrollment trend will bring the number of people covered through the program below the 2.8 million enrollees it had before the pandemic.

Though an unwinding occurred in every state, Ohio’s trend was to seize fewer federal waivers that would have provided it with more mitigation flexibility for dropping coverage.

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