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MDHHS Extends Medicaid Renewal Deadline Out To July 31st


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The response to Medicaid renewal has been underwhelming:

https://www.freep.com/story/news/health/2023/06/23/michigan-medicaid-renewal-deadline-extended-end-of-july/70346977007/

Michigan extends Medicaid renewal deadline, offering grace period until end of July
By Kristen Jordan Shamus - June 23, 2023

Nearly 218,000 Michiganders were given a June 30 deadline to re-enroll in Medicaid or risk losing coverage under a national effort that will take a year to complete.

So far, the response has been "less than we had hoped," said Bob Wheaton, a spokesperson for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

The department announced Thursday that it will extend the deadline to submit documents by one month — until the end of July — for any enrollee with a June 30 cutoff date.

Renewals for traditional Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan plan are staggered and will take place every month starting in June and continuing through May 2024, until all 3 million people in the state enrolled in the plans have had a chance to renew. Anyone who doesn't renew by the deadline will lose coverage.

Healthcare.gov is the federal website where Americans can go to determine whether they are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP programs and research health insurance plans on the marketplace.

It’s all part of the federal "unwinding of Medicaid," or Medicaid redetermination. What it means is that for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, people who have had their Medicaid insurance coverage automatically renewed each year will have to reapply to continue their coverage.

Those whose income has risen beyond eligibility requirements or who now qualify for employer-based insurance plans may be dropped from the program altogether. But some people who remain eligible likely will slip through the cracks and be taken off the Medicaid rolls — just because they didn't get the paperwork or didn't understand what to do with it.

State health leaders: Re-enroll, even if you don't think you're eligible

Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state health department, said in a statement that she's pleased the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is allowing states to extend the June deadline to give people more time.

“We want to be sure that as many Michiganders as possible can continue to receive Medicaid coverage so that they can keep their families healthy,” Hertel said.

Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Medicaid beneficiaries who received renewal packets with a deadline of June 30 are encouraged to complete and return their forms as soon as possible, even if they do not believe they are still eligible for coverage.

That's because some members of a household may still be able to get benefits even if others are ineligible. For example, a child may be covered by MiChild even if a parent is not eligible for other Medicaid programs. Or some Michiganders may have income that is over the income limit for one program and still be able to obtain health care benefits through another program.

Beneficiaries can check to see when they must renew as part of Medicaid redetermination at michigan.gov/MIBridges. From June 2023-May 2024, people will get notification on a rolling basis about their three-month window to apply.

If, for example, your Medicaid renewal month is August, you’ll get a letter in June informing you about the need to reapply for Medicaid. The following month, July, you would get a renewal packet in the mail. And you’d have to submit the paperwork before the deadline in August to keep your coverage.

Dr. Renuka Tipirneni, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan whose research centers on the impact of health care policies on vulnerable populations, told the Free Press earlier this year that the redetermination process might lead many vulnerable Michiganders to lose coverage.

“Many people — potentially hundreds of thousands of people — could lose coverage in this time period,” said Tipirneni, who also is an internal medicine physician at Michigan Medicine. “And that's going be a mixture of both people who are eligible and those who are no longer eligible for Medicaid.

“The concern for many of us in the health care community is to keep people enrolled who are eligible. … This will require people who currently have Medicaid coverage to pay attention to a lot of what's coming up and get their paperwork submitted, which is sometimes easier said than done.”

More than 2.1 million people in Michigan are enrolled in traditional Medicaid. Another 1.07 million are enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan, according to the state health department.

Altogether, that means about one-third of the state’s roughly 10 million people are covered by some form of Medicaid and will have to go through the reapplication processes within the next year.

Get ready for Medicaid redetermination:

> Find out which month your plan is scheduled to be renewed online at www.michigan.gov/MIBridges.

> Make sure your address, phone number and email address are up to date at michigan.gov/MIBridges or call your local MDHHS office. If you do not have an online account for MI Bridges to access your Medicaid case or report changes, go to www.michigan.gov/MIBridges to sign up for an account. You can also locate organizations that can help you by searching for community partners.

> Report any changes to your household or income. You can report changes at gov/MIBridges or by calling your local MDHHS office.

> If you get a renewal packet, fill it out, sign the forms and return them by the due date. 

> If it is determined that you are no longer eligible for Medicaid, the state Department of Insurance and Financial Services can help navigate how to purchase a health insurance plan. Call 877-999-6442 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit Michigan.gov/StayCovered to learn more.

Who is eligible for Medicaid?

Medicaid offers free or low-cost health insurance to those who qualify, depending on several factors, including age, income, disability, immigration and pregnancy status.

For kids, there's the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, which provides coverage through both Medicaid and separate CHIP programs funded by states and the federal government. To apply for Medicaid or CHIP plans, go to https://www.medicaid.gov.

The Healthy Michigan Plan is the state's Medicaid expansion plan that includes coverage for people with incomes above the federal poverty level.

To qualify for the Healthy Michigan Plan, you must be a Michigan resident from 19-64 years old, and your household income must be at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, which is about $18,000 a year for a single person or $37,000 for a family of four. You also can't be enrolled in Medicare or other Medicaid programs or be pregnant at the time of application.

Additional programs also insure pregnant women, low-income seniors and others.


   
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Abigail Nobel
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Joined: 3 years ago
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The ACA never promised free coverage, but a lot of people took it that way. When "free" failed to materialize, and COVID fears drained away, aspirations to be on Medicaid/Healthy Michigan subsided as well.

What's left is people operating under sheer necessity - the poor, chronically-ill, and disabled. Which of course is the original intent of state welfare. Remarkable to see this happen at the height of state subsidies - and Democrat control.

Perhaps time to consider unwinding some of Medicaid's horrific red tape? A lot of patients and clinicians could offer pointed advice!

The original MDHHS press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 22, 2023

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112, WheatonB@michigan.gov 

Michigan taking additional actions to preserve Medicaid eligibility as renewal process resumes following COVID-19
Enrollees reminded to return renewal packets on time to keep their coverage 

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is taking new actions to preserve Medicaid eligibility for those residents who must complete renewal forms by the end of June.

The additional MDHHS efforts to help Michiganders keep their coverage are possible as a result of the federal government releasing new flexibilities and strategies late last week to state officials to lessen the impact of the resumption of Medicaid renewals.

Medicaid beneficiaries who received renewal packets with a deadline of June 30 are still being reminded to complete and return their forms by that date to avoid losing coverage, as required by federal law. However, MDHHS will not disqualify anyone from coverage for not returning the paperwork until the end of July under the new guidance from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

MDHHS is implementing this change only for beneficiaries up for renewal in June and during this additional time will review and adopt additional strategies authorized by the federal government for outreach to beneficiaries to preserve their Medicaid coverage.

MDHHS advises families to return any renewal paperwork they receive from the department even if they believe they are no longer eligible for Medicaid. Some members of a household can obtain health care coverage even when others are not eligible. For example, a child may be eligible for MiChild, even if their parent is not eligible for other Medicaid programs. Or some Michiganders may have income that is over the income limit for one program and still be able to obtain health care benefits through another program.

Starting this month Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries must renew their coverage this year, as was the case before the COVID-19 public health emergency, to comply with federal legislation that requires states to resume redetermination of Medicaid eligibility. 

Renewals for traditional Medicaid and the Healthy Michigan Plan are staggered to take place monthly starting in June and running through May 2024. MDHHS will send monthly renewal notices three months before a beneficiary’s renewal date.

“We want to be sure that as many Michiganders as possible can continue to receive Medicaid coverage so that they can keep their families healthy,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel.

“We are pleased that our federal partners are giving us the option to delay any cancellation of coverage until the end of July so that we have more time to reach out to Medicaid beneficiaries who were required to return their renewal documents but have not yet done so,” Hertel said. “However, we are still emphasizing that anyone who has not returned June renewal forms should do so by the end of this month rather than waiting until July.”

More than 3 million Michiganders, including 1 million Healthy Michigan enrollees, benefitted from keeping their Medicaid coverage without redeterminations on eligibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the federal COVID-19 Public Health EmergencyCongress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that required state Medicaid agencies to continue health care coverage for all medical assistance programs, even if someone's eligibility changed. Michigan’s Medicaid caseload grew by more than 700,000 people during the public health emergency. This requirement was ended by the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 signed Dec. 29, 2022. 

MDHHS will assess a household’s eligibility for all Medicaid programs – not just for the programs in which an individual is currently enrolled, but also for each family member in the household.

MDHHS advises all Medicaid enrollees to check their renewal month at www.michigan.gov/MIBridges.

The State of Michigan is committed to doing what it can to help Michiganders find quality, affordable health care coverage in light of the changes by the federal government.

Michiganders who no longer qualify for Medicaid will receive additional information about other affordable health coverage options available, including on HealthCare.gov. Affected Michiganders will be able to shop for and enroll in comprehensive health insurance as they transition away from Medicaid, and many Michiganders can purchase a plan for less than $10 per month.

What Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries need to do to prepare: 

Make sure your address, phone number and email address are up to date at michigan.gov/MIBridges. You can also call your local MDHHS office. If you do not have an online account for MI Bridges to access your Medicaid case or report changes, visit www.michigan.gov/MIBridges to sign up for an account. You can also locate organizations that can help you by searching for community partners. 
Report any changes to your household or income. You can report changes at gov/MIBridges or by calling your local MDHHS office. 
If you get a renewal packet, be sure to fill it out, sign the forms and return it by the due date with any proof needed. NOTE: If you do not complete and return the renewal, you may lose Medicaid coverage. 

The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is working with MDHHS to help impacted Michiganders get affordable, comprehensive health insurance if they are determined to be no longer eligible for Medicaid. DIFS can answer questions about purchasing a health insurance plan. Call DIFS at 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit Michigan.gov/StayCovered to learn more.

To ensure beneficiaries are aware of upcoming federal redetermination requirements and help them keep their coverage if eligible, MDHHS has launched a multimedia advertising campaign. This includes radio, audio streaming, outdoor, mobile and social media ads, including minority media outlets and stakeholder communications. The department is also working with other state government departments in its efforts to get the word out to beneficiaries through stakeholder communications, social media and constituent webinars.

More information about the how benefits connected to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency are changing can be found at www.Michigan.gov/2023BenefitChanges.

# # #


   
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10x25mm
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BridgeMI is discovering to its horror that some Medicaid recipients are no longer qualified because their incomes have risen:

https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-health-watch/more-100k-michiganders-may-lose-medicaid-end-month

More than 100K Michiganders may lose Medicaid by end of month

A Trump-era rule that allowed people to stay on Medicaid coverage during the pandemic has expired, forcing more than 3.1 million Michiganders to prove again that they’re eligible for the safety-net program. (Bridge file photo)

By Robin Erb - July 10, 2023

Michigan Medicaid recipients must once again prove eligibility, a process that requires them to return paperwork
In the first wave of renewals, more than 100,000 people stand to lose coverage if they do not file claims by July 31
In subsequent months, millions of other recipients could lose safety-net benefits if they do not meet staggered deadlines
More than 100,000 Michiganders may lose their health coverage after July 31 if they do not return re-enrollment paperwork by that time, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Monday.

And that is just the first wave of residents who may lose coverage as recipients are once again required to prove program eligibility. With state Medicaid rolls rising above 3 million during the pandemic — roughly 3 in 10 Michiganders — many more residents could lose benefits if they do not fill out the required paperwork as it becomes due in the months ahead.

As of Thursday, the state had renewed Medicaid or Healthy Michigan plan coverage for 103,540 people, including 30,456 renewals for enrollees who submitted their paperwork and 73,084 for people who were “passively” renewed because MDHHS said it could confirm their eligibility through other paperwork on file with the state.

Another 6,935 people were determined to be no longer eligible because, among other reasons, their income has increased or their cases were closed because they lacked proof of updated income.

That meant the department was awaiting completed enrollment forms from 100,161 people — all of whom stand to lose coverage by the end of July if they don’t submit paperwork by that time, the state said. The number of people in peril is limited for now because the state is staggering the Medicaid renewal process through May of next year.

Consumer advocates had warned that people would be disenrolled; not necessarily because they were ineligible, but because they didn’t return the proper paperwork. In fact, the health care research organization KFF estimates that more than 1.6 million Medicaid enrollees across the U.S. have been disenrolled as of Wednesday, based on the most current data from 28 states and the District of Columbia.

For the first time in more than three years, Michiganders enrolled in Medicaid programs, including the Healthy Michigan Plan, must prove they’re eligible to remain on Medicaid. That annual “redetermination” was paused in 2020 under a special COVID-era rule that allowed people to stay on Michigan’s Medicaid programs during the disruption of COVID-19, including the MI Child and Healthy Michigan Plan, without continuing to have to prove that they’re eligible.

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act offered a 6.5 percent increase in matching funds to states that agreed to stop bumping people out of Medicaid coverage for the duration of the public health emergency. For more than two years, that action essentially halted the churn of people in and out of Medicaid programs and that kept enrollment fairly stable.

The more than 700,000 people who enrolled in Medicaid during the pandemic expanded the programs to more than 3 million Michiganders, the largest enrollment ever. Those additional beneficiaries cost more than $50 million a month, according to a December analysis by the Michigan House Fiscal Agency.

Michigan has chosen to stagger its renewal efforts, with beneficiaries’ notices to be sent out on the same month they first enrolled in Medicaid.

The first re-enrollment documents were sent out this spring, so that the first beneficiaries faced the end of their coverage on June 30 unless they were able to prove their eligibility. That deadline was extended so that coverage will remain in place until July 31.

“While we’re happy that many Michiganders have maintained coverage, we want to emphasize how important it is for people who receive re-enrollment packets to fill out their information and return it promptly,” Meghan Groen, MDHHS senior deputy director for the Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services Administration and Medicaid director, said in a news release Monday.

“The department will continue to do all we can to reach people who have not responded so that they can keep their coverage if they remain eligible.”

Also Monday, the department unveiled an online dashboard that tracks the renewal process for Medicaid coverage,

The dashboard shows current data on renewals for June, which will change as the department processes additional forms. MDHHS has until the end of July to receive renewal forms from the June cohort and determine eligibility.


   
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Abigail Nobel
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Bwahahaha, they're pulling out all the stops!

People independent, making do without state welfare? That will never do.

By no coincidence, MDHHS today released a presser with this catchy little title:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Michigan provides update on Medicaid renewals and announces dashboard that will show data on reenrollment; State continues efforts to preserve affordable health care coverage and get word out about importance of beneficiaries returning paperwork

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2023

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112, WheatonB@michigan.gov

Michigan provides update on Medicaid renewals and announces dashboard that will show data on reenrollment
State continues efforts to preserve affordable health care coverage and get word out about importance of beneficiaries returning paperwork

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today unveiled an online dashboard available to the public that will show data on the renewal process for Medicaid coverage that restarted recently due to federal legislation.

“We want to be sure that as many Michiganders as possible can continue to receive Medicaid coverage so that they can keep their families healthy or help people sign up for an affordable new plan,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “This new dashboard allows the public to view our progress as we renew Medicaid coverage for families who remain eligible.”

Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan beneficiaries must renew their coverage over the next year to comply with federal legislation that requires states to resume the redetermination of Medicaid eligibility. Annual renewals were paused for three years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In Michigan annual renewals are being staggered to take place monthly starting in June and running through May 2024.

The dashboard shows current data on renewals for June, which will change as the department processes additional forms. MDHHS has until the end of July to receive renewal forms from the June cohort and determine eligibility. The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services allowed Michigan and other states to take new actions to preserve Medicaid coverage. As a result, MDHHS delayed disqualifying anyone from coverage for not returning the paperwork until the end of July.

The dashboard – which will be updated every month – shows that as of July 6, MDHHS had renewed Medicaid or Healthy Michigan plan coverage for 103,540 people. That includes 30,456 renewals for enrollees who submitted their paperwork and 73,084 for people who were renewed by MDHHS because the department already had necessary information required for eligibility.

As of July 6, the department was awaiting completed enrollment forms from 100,161 people. There were 6,935 people who were determined to no longer be eligible for Medicaid, such as people whose income has increased and individuals whose cases were closed for administrative reasons – including lack of proof of updated income or exceeding the asset limit for eligibility.

“While we’re happy that many Michiganders have maintained coverage, we want to emphasize how important it is for people who receive reenrollment packets to fill out their information and return it promptly,” said Meghan Groen, MDHHS senior deputy director for the Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services Administration and Medicaid director. “The department will continue to do all we can to reach people who have not responded so that they can keep their coverage if they remain eligible.”

Additional MDHHS efforts to help Michiganders keep their coverage are possible as a result of the federal government releasing new flexibilities and strategies late last month to state officials to lessen the impact of the resumption of Medicaid renewals. During this additional time, the department will review and adopt additional strategies authorized by the federal government for outreach to beneficiaries to preserve their Medicaid coverage.

This includes:

Allowing managed care plans to assist enrollees they serve in completing and submitting their Medicaid renewal forms.
Sharing lists with managed care organizations of their enrollees who are due for renewal or have not responded to provide outreach to those beneficiaries.
Reinstating eligibility back to the termination date for people who were disenrolled based on a procedural reason – such as not returning reenrollment forms on time –and are subsequently found to be eligible for Medicaid during a 90-day reconsideration period.
MDHHS advises families to return any renewal paperwork from the department even if they believe they are no longer eligible for Medicaid. Some members of a household can obtain health care coverage even when others are not eligible. For example, a child may be eligible for MiChild, even if their parent is not eligible for other Medicaid programs. Or some Michiganders may have income that is over the income limit for one program and still be able to obtain health care benefits through another program.

MDHHS will send monthly renewal notices four months before a beneficiary’s renewal date and follow up with text messages, phone calls, and emails during their renewal month.

More than 3 million Michiganders, including 1 million Healthy Michigan enrollees, benefitted from keeping their Medicaid coverage without redeterminations on eligibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MDHHS will assess a household’s eligibility for all Medicaid programs – not just for the programs in which someone is currently enrolled, and also for each family member in the household.

MDHHS advises all Medicaid enrollees to check their renewal month at michigan.gov/MIBridges.

Michiganders who no longer qualify for Medicaid will receive additional information about other affordable health coverage options available, including on HealthCare.gov. Affected Michiganders will be able to shop for and enroll in comprehensive health insurance as they transition away from Medicaid, and many Michiganders can purchase a plan for less than $10 per month.

What Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries need to do to prepare: 

Make sure your address, phone number and email address are up to date at gov/MIBridges. You can also call your local MDHHS office. If you do not have an online account for MI Bridges to access your Medicaid case or report changes, visit michigan.gov/MIBridges to sign up for an account. You can also locate organizations that can help you by searching for community partners. 
Report any changes to your household or income. You can report changes at gov/MIBridges or by calling your local MDHHS office.  
If you get a renewal packet, be sure to fill it out, sign the forms and return it by the due date with any proof needed. NOTE: If you do not complete and return the renewal, you may lose Medicaid coverage.  
The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is working with MDHHS to help impacted Michiganders get affordable health insurance if they are determined to be no longer eligible for Medicaid. DIFS can answer questions about purchasing a health insurance plan. Call DIFS at 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or visit Michigan.gov/StayCovered to learn more.

To ensure beneficiaries are aware of upcoming federal redetermination requirements and help them keep their coverage if eligible, the State of Michigan has:

Launched a communications campaign in May 2022 to encourage Medicaid beneficiaries to make sure contact information is up-to-date in anticipation of renewals beginning again at the end of the public health emergency.
Established a website and online stakeholder toolkit with materials and assets to help increase awareness about preparing for Medicaid eligibility renewals.
Partnered with minority media outlets, faith-based and community leaders and advocates to further spread messaging about eligibility renewals beginning again.
Put in place a May 2023 executive order from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer instructing all State of Michigan departments to work together with MDHHS and DIFS to lower health care costs and help Michiganders either keep Medicaid coverage or find affordable health insurance.
Established a data-sharing agreement with the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency to increase the number of people who can have their coverage renewed “passively,” reducing the need for some beneficiaries to submit renewal paperwork if the state already has their income and other information needed to determine eligibility.
More information about the how benefits connected to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency are changing can be found at www.Michigan.gov/2023BenefitChanges.

# # # 


   
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The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (FAHCA) is being sued by two families whose Medicaid coverage was terminated during the current requalification campaign.  The suit claims that FAHCA terminated their Medicaid benefits without proper notice or a chance to contest the agency's decision:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2023/08/22/1195226831/two-families-sue-florida-for-being-kicked-off-medicaid-in-unwinding-process

Two families sue Florida for being kicked off Medicaid in 'unwinding' process
By Selena Simmons-Duffin - August 22, 2023

A toddler with cystic fibrosis living in Jacksonville, Fla. missed weeks of her medication after she and her mother were cut off from Medicaid.

And in Miami-Dade county, a one-year-old missed a routine vaccination – her mother got a call the day before the appointment informing her the check-up was canceled because the child no longer had insurance.

These two children and their parents are suing the state of Florida alleging that their Medicaid coverage was terminated without proper notice or a chance to contest the state agency's decision.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Jacksonville by the Florida Health Justice Project and the National Health Law Program, and the complaint was shared exclusively with NPR.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs believe it to be the first lawsuit of its kind since Medicaid "unwinding" began in April. The complaint says the plaintiffs' due process rights were violated and are asking the court to instruct the state Medicaid agency to stop disenrolling Floridians "until timely and legally adequate notice of termination has been provided to them."

Millions out of Medicaid, most for paperwork reasons

For three years during the COVID-19 pandemic, no one had to go through any kind of renewal process to stay on Medicaid. Now that protection has come to an end, and every state is assessing eligibility for everyone on its rolls.

So far, more than 5.2 million people have lost Medicaid nationally, according to reports from 45 states and the District of Columbia analyzed by health research firm KFF. And 74% of people, on average, are losing coverage for paperwork reasons, not because they actually no longer qualify for coverage, according to KFF.

More than 400,000 Floridians have lost coverage so far, although KFF's Jennifer Tolbert points out, this is in part a reflection of the size of the program in this country's third most populous state. "Interestingly, though, Florida's disenrollment rate is 31%, which is below the overall average of 38%," Tolbert says.

She adds that many Medicaid recipients in the state are children and low-income parents because Florida did not expand Medicaid, one of the few remaining states to hold out on doing so.

The Florida Department of Children and Families sent NPR a flier touting how the state is "continuing to lead on redeterminations." It said 1.9 million beneficiaries had been redetermined to date, and 89% responded to the form sent out by the agency.

The agency did not have an immediate reaction to the lawsuit when contacted at press time.

The Florida lawsuit describes how the two families suing the state received extremely confusing notices from Florida's Medicaid agency. The notice was many pages long, included conflicting information from one section to another, and did not clearly explain why coverage was ending or what steps the families could take to contest the decision.

In the case of the family in Jacksonville, 25-year-old Chianne D. had just had a baby in February, and should have been covered for 12 months postpartum until February 2024. Her two-year-old daughter, who has cystic fibrosis, qualified for coverage because she is "medically needy." (NPR is not including the family's name because the lawsuit is also withholding it and sensitive financial information will be exposed in the case.)

Vulnerable kids on Medicaid

Nearly 14 million children across the country had special health needs in 2019, according to a KFF analysis. "This is a category of eligibility where the state allows families to count medical expenses against their income – so even though their income may be too high to qualify for Medicaid, on a monthly basis because of ongoing health care needs, the individual does qualify," explains Tolbert. In Florida, there were nearly 800,000 children with special health needs in 2019, and more than half of them were on Medicaid.

The complaint describes how Chianne contacted the state agency to ask for clarity after receiving the Medicaid notice, and was told by an agent "I'm not going to sit here and answer your questions" and "I have a rule that says I cannot talk to you for over 20 minutes." Chianne and her toddler's Medicaid coverage ended on May 31.

The toddler "missed multiple weeks of her prescription drugs and as a result, lost her appetite and was constantly tired and moody," the lawsuit alleges.

It says she also developed a persistent cough, and her parents took her to a hospital emergency department for treatment because her primary care doctor would not see her without insurance. The $2,800 bill for that hospital visit has been sent to collections, according to the complaint.


   
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Abigail Nobel
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Joined: 3 years ago
Posts: 484
 

When local systems fail, locals find solutions.

When privately-owned centralized systems fail. they (usually) go out of business.

But when government-run systems fail, they just keep on going. Everything is already paid for, no end to the cash. Accountability is nonexistent: why should anyone take responsibility to fix it? 


   
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10x25mm
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Topic starter  

Michigan Medicaid redetermination update:

  • More than 270,000 Michiganders have been removed from Michigan's Medicaid program since MDHHS began redetermining eligibility in June 2023.
  • This is 8.71% of Michigan's 2022 Medicaid recipients.
  • Removal reasons: 223,834 recipients did not return their application and 46,774 earned more than the annual income threshold.
  • MDHHS will verify the income of all 3.1 million Medicaid recipients by May 2024.

 

31% of Michigan's population is on Medicaid!


   
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Further update:

https://michiganadvance.com/2023/11/30/dhhs-redoubles-efforts-as-michigan-residents-continue-to-lose-medicaid-coverage/

DHHS redoubles efforts as Michigan residents continue to lose Medicaid coverage
By Jon King - November 30, 2023

While 168,088 Michigan residents renewed Medicaid or Healthy Michigan plan coverage in October, more than 85,000 others did not, with Thursday the deadline to turn in their paperwork or face being disenrolled from the programs.

That’s according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which announced the latest renewal numbers Wednesday for those whose eligibility was up for redetermination in October.

Medicaid is the country’s public health insurance program that provides health coverage for about 85.2 million low-income adults, pregnant people and children nationwide. In Michigan, 3.1 million people – a little less than one-third of the state – are covered by public insurance.

More information

  • For those Michiganders no longer eligible for Medicaid, additional information will be provided to them about other affordable health coverage options that are available, including on HealthCare.gov, where they can shop for and enroll in other health insurance options, including some plans for less than $10 per month.
  • Additional information for Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries, including what they need to do to prepare for renewals, is available on the Medicaid Benefit Changes website

Medicaid enrollees in Michigan had not been required to reapply for coverage for three years after annual renewals were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, that changed when Congress late last year passed legislation that ended continuous enrollment on March 31. While some states began disenrolling people starting in April, Michigan did not resume disenrollments until June, with annual renewals being staggered to take place monthly through May 2024.

Despite that, the reapplication process is resulting in Michiganders, and Americans in general, losing Medicaid coverage either because their income is now too high to be eligible, or due to red tape, such as enrollees not sending the necessary paperwork or being unaware they need to reapply. 

Meanwhile, state officials say Medicaid renewal events hosted in partnership with The Salvation Army Great Lakes Harbor Light System have helped 1,500 Medicaid beneficiaries in Southeast Michigan with the renewal process.

“MDHHS is working to preserve health benefits for all qualifying residents and will continue to use every option available to achieve that outcome,” said DHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “We want to be sure that as many Michiganders as possible can continue to receive Medicaid coverage and appreciate the partnership of The Salvation Army and others in this effort.”

According to the DHHS’ online dashboard – which is updated monthly – 804,613 residents have been renewed to date, although as of Wednesday the department said it is awaiting completed enrollment forms from another 85,795 people who were up for renewal in October. They have until the end of November to return their paperwork. 

The dashboard indicates that 13,618 people were disenrolled in October because they were no longer eligible while another 2,806 were not renewed for procedural reasons – such as not providing requested verification documents like driver’s license, pay stubs and bank statements. However, they can be reinstated during a 90-day reconsideration period if DHHS subsequently finds they are eligible for Medicaid.  

As of Monday, Michigan ranked 21st with its Medicaid disenrollment rate of 37%, according to health policy researcher KFF. That’s up from 10% in July, when Michigan had the lowest rate. 

As a result of new flexibilities and strategies released by the federal government to state officials, DHHS says there are several other efforts to help lessen the impact of the resumption of Medicaid renewals. 

They include:

  • Extending the renewal date to May 2024 for beneficiaries undergoing life-saving treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy infusions or dialysis.
  • Allowing managed care plans to assist enrollees they serve in completing and submitting Medicaid renewal forms.
  • Sharing lists with managed care organizations of their enrollees who are due for renewal or have not responded to provide additional outreach to those beneficiaries.
  • Reinstating eligibility back to the termination date for people who were disenrolled based on a procedural reason – such as not returning reenrollment forms on time – and are subsequently found to be eligible for Medicaid during a 90-day reconsideration period. 
  • Providing beneficiaries an extra month to submit paperwork to help avoid loss of health care coverage.

DHHS will send monthly renewal notices four months before a beneficiary’s renewal date and follow up with text messages, phone calls, and emails during their renewal month, but advises all Medicaid enrollees to check their renewal month and renew online at Michigan.gov/MIBridges

DHHS will also assess a household’s eligibility for all Medicaid programs – not just for the programs in which someone is currently enrolled, and also for each family member in the household, so even if families believe they are no longer eligible for Medicaid, officials advise they return any renewal paperwork from the department.


   
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https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/inside-mdhhs/newsroom/2024/01/31/medicaid-six-month

More than 1.1 million Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries’ coverage renewed

Highlighting efforts and successes six months into renewal process

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has renewed Medicaid or Healthy Michigan plan coverage for more than 1.1 million people, in the six months since Medicaid renewals began again in Michigan after the COVID-19 pandemic, including 140,024 whose eligibility was up for renewal in December.

During the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that required state Medicaid agencies continue health care coverage for all medical assistance programs, even if someone's eligibility changed. Michigan’s Medicaid caseload grew by more than 700,000 people during the public health emergency. This requirement was ended by the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 signed Dec. 29, 2022, and renewals began again in June 2023.

Over the past several months MDHHS has deployed a number of strategies released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help make the process easier for those up for renewal, and to mitigate the number of residents at risk of losing coverage.

These include:

  • Renewing Medicaid eligibility for people receiving benefits under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program without conducting separate income determinations.
  • Permitting managed care plans to provide assistance to enrollees to complete and submit Medicaid renewal forms.
  • Reinstating individual’s eligibility who were disenrolled for procedural reasons and are subsequently redetermined to be eligible for Medicaid during a 90-day reconsideration period.
  • Extending renewals to May 2024 for beneficiaries undergoing life-saving treatment, such as dialysis or for cancer.
  • Extending automatic reenrollment into a Medicaid managed care plan to up to 120 days.
  • Providing beneficiaries an extra month to submit paperwork to avoid loss of health care coverage.

As a result of some of these strategies passive renewals, or the ability to automatically renew a beneficiary, increased from 12% to 40%.

“Total renewals through the past six months puts Michigan on pace to have a total enrollment similar to pre-pandemic levels in March 2020,” said Meghan Groen, MDHHS Medicaid director. “It remains critical for those who are up for renewal to return their paperwork as quickly as possible to avoid the unnecessary loss of coverage.”

Of those beneficiaries whose Medicaid case was closed for procedural reasons, such as not returning paperwork on time, one in four was due to having other comprehensive health insurance available to them.

MDHHS also announced that the renewal rate for Medicaid beneficiaries whose eligibility was being redetermined for November was just over 65%. The number renewed for November Medicaid redeterminations increased to 152,241 based on updated data from this week.

“I am proud that Michigan continues to be a leader in supporting Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries, especially in finding innovative ways to make the process easier, increase awareness and education, and help eligible residents retain coverage,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “I also have to thank our local MDHHS offices. This has been a tremendous amount of work to process renewals and support their community members during this initial cycle after the pandemic. Additionally, there have been a significant number of community partners and advocates who have stood with MDHHS and supported our efforts with their constituents. We couldn’t be successful without their collaboration.”

“Ensuring Michigan residents continue to have access to care through their Medicaid health insurance is important to maintaining their health and well-being,” said Phillip Bergquist, Michigan Primary Care Association CEO. “Michigan's Community Health Centers are working with MDHHS, local organizations and advocates as trusted partners to help eligible residents keep their coverage and prevent gaps in health care that could lead to additional health disparities among underserved populations.”

The latest data on Medicaid renewals can be found on MDHHS’ online dashboard. The dashboard – which is updated monthly – shows that 1,109,849 people have been renewed to date. The department is awaiting completed enrollment forms from another 97,657people who were up for renewal in December and have until the end of January to return their paperwork. 

There were 14,075 people disenrolled in November because they were no longer eligible and 66,477 whose eligibility was not renewed for procedural reasons – such as not providing requested verification documents like driver’s license, pay stubs and bank statements. MDHHS can reinstate eligibility back to the termination date for those who were disenrolled based on a procedural reason and are subsequently found to still be eligible for Medicaid during a 90-day reconsideration period. 

MDHHS advises all Medicaid enrollees to check their renewal month and renew online at Michigan.gov/MIBridges. MDHHS will send renewal notices four months before a beneficiary’s renewal date and follow up with text messages, phone calls and emails during their renewal month.

MDHHS advises families to return any renewal paperwork from the department even if they believe they are no longer eligible for Medicaid. Some members of a household can obtain health care coverage even when others are not eligible. For example, a child may be eligible for MiChild, even if their parent is not eligible for other Medicaid programs. Or some Michiganders may have income that is over the income limit for one program and still be able to obtain health care benefits through another program.

MDHHS will assess a household’s eligibility for all Medicaid programs – not just for the programs in which someone is currently enrolled, and also for each family member in the household.

Michiganders who no longer qualify for Medicaid will receive additional information about other affordable health coverage options available, including on HealthCare.gov. Affected Michiganders will be able to shop for and enroll in comprehensive health insurance as they transition away from Medicaid, and many can purchase a plan for less than $10 per month.

Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries can learn more, including what they need to do to prepare for renewals, on the Medicaid Benefit Changes website.


   
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Now more than 1.4 million renewals, and more than 700,000 purged:

https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/inside-mdhhs/newsroom/2024/03/29/feb-medicaid

MDHHS renews Medicaid for another 142,000, bringing total to more than 1.4 million

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) renewed Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan coverage for an additional 142,296 people whose eligibility was up for redetermination in February, bringing the total to more than 1.4 million.

The department is continuing its efforts to maintain Medicaid coverage for eligible Michiganders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people continued to receive Medicaid coverage without having to renew annually under the Families First Coronavirus Act. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 ended the pause on annual redeterminations. Michigan reinstated the renewal process beginning in May 2023.

“Maintaining health care coverage for as many residents as possible has been our goal. I’m pleased we’ve been able to renew Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan coverage for more than 1.4 million people so far,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “This has been a collaborative effort with many partners and advocates assisting us by communicating with and informing beneficiaries. I’m grateful for all the work and coordination that has gone into helping make sure those who are eligible retain their benefits.”

Over the past several months, MDHHS has used numerous strategies approved by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help make the renewal process easier and to reduce the number of residents at risk of losing coverage.

These include:

  • Renewing Medicaid eligibility for people receiving benefits under the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program without conducting separate income determinations.
  • Permitting managed care plans to assist enrollees in completing renewal forms.
  • Reinstating eligibility for people who were disenrolled for procedural reasons and are subsequently redetermined to be eligible for Medicaid during a 90-day reconsideration period.
  • Extending renewals to May 2024 for beneficiaries undergoing life-saving treatment, such as dialysis or for cancer.
  • Extending automatic reenrollment into a Medicaid managed care plan to up to 120 days.
  • Providing beneficiaries an extra month to submit paperwork to avoid loss of health care coverage.

The latest data on Medicaid renewals can be found on MDHHS’ online dashboard. The dashboard, which is updated monthly, shows that 1,431,695 million people have been renewed to date. The department is awaiting completed enrollment forms from another 96,699 people who were up for renewal in February and have until the end of March to return paperwork.

There were 12,656 people disenrolled in February because they were no longer eligible and 2,032 whose eligibility was not renewed for procedural reasons, such as not providing verification documents like a driver’s license, pay stubs and bank statements. MDHHS can reinstate eligibility back to the termination date for those disenrolled based on a procedural reason and are subsequently found to still be eligible during a 90-day reconsideration period.

MDHHS advises all Medicaid enrollees to check their renewal month and renew online at Michigan.gov/MIBridges. MDHHS will send renewal notices four months before a beneficiary’s renewal date and follow up with text messages, phone calls and emails.

Families should return renewal paperwork even if they believe they are no longer eligible for Medicaid. Some members of a household can obtain health care coverage even when others are not eligible. For example, a child may be eligible for MiChild, even if their parent is not eligible for other Medicaid programs. Or some Michiganders may have income that is over the income limit for one program and still be able to obtain health care benefits through another program.

Michiganders who no longer qualify will receive additional information about other affordable health coverage options available, including on HealthCare.gov. Affected Michiganders can shop for and enroll in comprehensive health insurance as they transition away from Medicaid. Many can purchase a plan for less than $10 per month. Michigan Medicaid beneficiaries can learn more, including what they need to do to prepare for renewals, on the Medicaid Benefit Changes website.


   
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