CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Millions of Americans are at risk of losing their Medicaid coverage over the next year.
Just before 2020, roughly 84 million people were covered by the assistance program. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, that number has grown by 20 million.
The government has required states to begin checking recipient's eligibility for Medicaid for the first time in three years.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that about 15 million people are at risk of losing their Medicaid coverage.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the federal government stopped states from removing people from the government-sponsored assistance program, even if they were no longer eligible.
Years ago, many people would lose their coverage if they started making too much money to qualify for the program, gained health care coverage from their employer, or moved to another state.
Starting April 1, the legislation allows states to begin removing people who no longer qualify from Medicaid coverage, regardless of the status of the COVID-19 public health emergency, which is now set to expire on May 11.
This means that people will have to fill our forms to verify their personal information, including address, income and household size.
Losing coverage depends on which state you live in.
Some are moving faster than others. States like Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma and West Virginia are among the states that will remove ineligible Medicaid recipients in April. Other states, including Texas, will begin by May.
To avoid being removed from Medicaid coverage, it's important to update contact information, including home addresses, phone numbers, and emails.
You will initially receive a renewal form to your home address listed on your Medicaid coverage. There are also other ways that you'd be contacted. The federal government will also contact you by phone, text message or email to remind you to fill out the form.
You will have at least 30 days to fill out the form. If you do not, your coverage will be removed immediately.
However, if you no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage, there are other options to consider. The Affordable Care Act program also can help people find health care coverage than are inexpensive. You can also consider coverage through CHIP, which covers children whose families make too much money to qualify for Medicaid.
A special enrollment people will also open for people who are unenrolled from Medicaid that will start on March 31 until July 31, 2024.
If you're not certain of your eligibility, you could go to either HealthCare.govor call 211 for further assistance information with the Texas Health and Human Service Commission.
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