On April 1, states are required to begin determining whether Medicaid enrollees are still eligible for the program, ending the uninterrupted coverage they’ve had for three years because of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). Hospitals also have a part to play in communicating to patients the possibility they will lose Medicaid coverage, which may become a probability if they don’t respond when the state reaches out, an expert said.
If large numbers of Medicaid patients are again without insurance, they will suffer and hospitals will take a financial hit, said Day Egusquiza, president of AR Systems Inc.
“Think back to 2020,” Egusquiza said at a Finally Friday webinar sponsored by the Appeal Academy Feb. 17. “We were checking each eligibility with registration.” It’s now time to use the wayback machine because pre-PHE Medicaid enrollment rules will apply, although CMS is giving states a year to reenroll people, she explained. Hospitals and other providers should be prepared to help panicky patients who receive a letter saying the state is reviewing their eligibility for Medicaid, although they’re safe for now. The states are also required to redetermine eligibility for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.