Health care officials warn of the end of Medicaid’s continuous coverage
QUINCY (WGEM) - If you live in Illinois and rely on Medicaid for your health insurance, you need to be aware that continuous coverage ends this month.
Medicaid’s continuous coverage that was implemented as a pandemic-era protection will end nationwide on March 31. This means Medicaid customers will need to once again renew their coverage, something they have not had to do since March 2020.
Although March 31 is the end of continuous coverage, customers will still be covered up until their renewal deadline which is not the same for everyone.
According to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, the most important thing Medicaid customers can do right now is ensure their current address is on file with the Illinois Medicaid program. This is critical because the time-sensitive redetermination materials will be mailed to customers as their renewal date approaches.
State officials report, the first Medicaid enrollees who will be going through the re-started redetermination process are those with June renewal dates and will receive their renewal notices in early May, those with July renewal dates will receive their renewal notices in early June, and on throughout the year.
Officials stated, if someone doesn’t submit their renewal or doesn’t qualify anymore, they may lose coverage a month after their renewal due date. For people whose renewal date is June 1, they may lose coverage as early as July 1. A more complete timeline is below.
|Continuous coverage ends||03/31/2023|
|First renewals sent (to arrive early May for those due by June)||04/27/2023|
|First renewals due by June||06/01/2023|
|First possible loss of coverage for people who no longer qualify||07/01/2023|
|Renewals sent for people due by July||05/30/2023|
|Renewals due by July||07/01/2023|
|Possible loss of coverage for people due by July||08/01/2023|
|Renewals sent for people due by August||06/29/2023|
|Renewals due by August||08/01/2023|
|Possible loss of coverage for people due by August||09/01/2023|
|... this pattern continues for each month of the year.|
Adams County Health Department Director of Nursing Emily Hendrickson said the state of Illinois guided health care providers to inform people of the change but they quickly found out many patients were unaware.
She said they’ve partnered with Clarity Healthcare to help get the word out to the community.
Clarity Healthcare Insurance Health Navigator Anne Vestal said it’s important that people be aware of the dates.
“If they qualify and they don’t submit the redetermination application, they are going to get their coverage terminated and I mean there are about 7500 kids under Medicaid, in Adams County so 7500 kids are going to lose their coverage if they don’t re-enroll,” Vestal said.
“The loss of insurance, all those things become a public health emergency,” she said. “If people don’t have what they need, if they have an emergency room visit, I mean that’s a lot, tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket for someone so this is critical to ensure people maintain their insurance coverage.”
For those needing help, Vestal will be at the Adams County Health Department Monday, noon to 5 p.m. on March 20 and March 28. You can also call her at 573-719-1454.
Illinois residents can go to medicaid.illinois.gov to verify their address. They can also download the Ready to Renew Toolkit here or call 800-843-6154 for renewal help.
Iowa residents will need to contact their Department of Human Services, caseworker.
Missouri residents who have recently moved will have to update their mailing address here.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story implied that Medicaid customers were required to take action by March 31. That is not the case; Medicaid has rolling renewals.
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