Ending the COVID-19 Continuous Medicaid Coverage Requirement: Approx. 130,000 Medicaid recipients in the Palm Beach area are at risk of losing Medicaid
Background: In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 legislation provided states with significant federal funding to ensure continuous Medicaid coverage of individuals enrolled in the program, even those who are no longer technically eligible. States were required to maintain this moratorium on terminations until the end of the Public Health Emergency (also referred to as the “PHE”). In late December 2022, the law was changed to “de-link” the requirement of continuous Medicaid from the end of the PHE. Although the PHE is still in effect, the continuous Medicaid coverage requirement ends March 31, 2023.
Under Florida’s Medicaid Redetermination Plan, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) will begin reviewing Medicaid eligibility for approximately 4.9 million Floridians in March 2023. The reviews will be spread over 12 months. Terminations for those who are sent case redetermination (also called “renewal”) notices in March and who are found to be ineligible or who fail to complete the renewal process will be effective April 30, 2023.
Impact of ending the continuous coverage provision on the Palm Beach area’s Medicaid enrollment: Medicaid enrollment in the Palm Beach area has increased by approximately 183,614 (57% increase) between March 2020 and February 2023. The largest rate of increase is among: 1) 19-20 year olds, whose enrollment has increased by over 14,265 (260%); and 2) parents & caregivers, where enrollment has increased from 40,157 to 115,053 (187%). The Appendix details the increases.
Groups most at risk of losing coverage because they are no longer Medicaid eligible:
Greatest impact: Those most likely to lose Medicaid are also those who have experienced the highest rate of enrollment increase– parents/caregivers and 19-20 year olds. They are at risk because their family income exceeds Florida’s limit for these groups which is less than 30% of the federal poverty guidelines, e.g. less than $ 500/month for a parent and one child.
Children at risk of losing coverage due to procedural issues: As of February 2023, over 241,870 children are enrolled in Medicaid in the Palm Beach area. While many children currently enrolled are still eligible for Medicaid (or Kidcare), experts estimate a coverage loss or interruption of 18% due to administrative & procedural issues. Thus, in the Palm Beach area, over 43,500 children are at risk of losing coverage even though they remain technically eligible. Experts also note that children and young adults will be disproportionately impacted, and that nearly one third of those predicted to lose coverage are Latino and 15% are Black.
NEXT STEPS: The most important message for Medicaid recipients NOW is to update their information, including their address, on ACCESS. If you have individual client referrals or would like to join a listserv for updates, please contact our team via email (email@example.com).
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For questions, please contact Miriam Harmatz, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated March 2023.
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