Medicaid advocates are demanding the federal government to stop states from removing people from the program after 25 states and the District of Columbia dropped more than 1.5 million enrollees in less than three months.
The activists claim most of these are “procedural disenrollments” due to states’ failure to contact beneficiaries because of outdated contact information or because the enrollee did not complete a renewal due to poor state instructions.
Yet of those who’ve been “disenrolled,” most will lose Medicaid for a simple reason: They’re not eligible for it, and huge numbers are no longer even getting care via Medicaid — even as taxpayers send millions each month to HMOs, etc. to “cover” them.
The disenrollments are coming after the resumption of an eligibility redetermination process after a three-year pandemic pause.
States normally perform periodic redeterminations to account for changes in beneficiaries’ circumstances that could change their eligibility.
People die, move out of state, get a new job that provides health insurance or higher income that exceeds Medicaid thresholds.
Or they have changes in their family circumstances.
The March 2020 Families First Coronavirus Response Act offered states enhanced Medicaid matching funding (a 6.2% increase) in return for ceasing the removal of ineligible enrollees during the public-health emergency — the “continuous enrollment” condition.
Every state took the cash.
Enrollments surged by 23 million people. The increase was not due to increased poverty.
Even as unemployment fell following an early pandemic spike, Medicaid enrollment continued to grow.
Many current enrollees are likely ineligible for Medicaid benefits.
Medicaid’s improper payment rate was already 21%, or $86.5 billion in annual federal misspending before the pandemic and annual redeterminations were suspended.
Read the full article on the New York Post.