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Medicaid renewal means millions of people could lose their benefits

Posted: July 12, 2022

Last updated date: October 17, 2022

What is Medicaid renewal?

Whether you call it Medicaid renewal, Medicaid redetermination or Medicaid recertification, it means the same thing. It’s when people who get Medicaid benefits have to recertify, or renew, their coverage. To do so, they need to prove that they still meet the qualifying requirements to receive Medicaid benefits in their state. In most states, Medicaid beneficiaries need to renew every year.

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COVID-19 stopped the need to renew for Medicaid

The COVID-19 pandemic created a public health emergency. During this time, the requirement for Medicaid recipients to renew every year was temporarily stopped. The pandemic health emergency has been extended many times since January 2020. As a result, Medicaid recertification has been on hold for more than 2 years and a record number of people are now on Medicaid. In fact, nearly 81 million people were enrolled in Medicaid as of May 2022.1

Medicaid recertification will start again once the public health emergency ends

When the public health emergency ends, Medicaid recipients will have to renew their Medicaid coverage. States have up to 12 months to complete recertification. But this won’t be an easy task. That’s because states may not have had any contact with many Medicaid enrollees for 2 to 3 years. So many addresses or contact information may be out of date. Medicaid recipients who don’t recertify are in danger of losing their Medicaid coverage and could find themselves without health insurance coverage.

Having no Medicaid coverage could make it harder to get medical care

Millions of people could lose their Medicaid coverage

It’s estimated that as many as 15 million people under age 65 could lose their Medicaid benefits once the public health emergency ends.2 Having no Medicaid coverage could make it harder to get medical care. It could also result in expensive medical bills for those without health insurance.

Medicaid coverage is key for people who are dual eligible

People who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid are known as dual eligible. Dual Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) are a type of Medicare Advantage plan that provide extra benefits beyond Original Medicare and Medicaid*. You need to have Medicaid coverage to qualify for a D-SNP.

The pandemic health emergency is expected to end in late 2022 or sometime in 2023. When that happens, D-SNP members will need to recertify their Medicaid coverage. D-SNP members who find they no longer qualify for Medicaid in their state will need to choose a different type of Medicare plan. For the most up-to-date information about Medicaid recertification, please check with your state Medicaid Agency.

*Benefits and features vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply.
1May 2022 Medicaid & CHIP Enrollment Data Highlights(accessed August 29, 2022)
2. Why Millions on Medicaid Are at Risk of Losing Coverage in the Months Ahead, (KFF, February 14, 2022) (accessed March 1, 2022)

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Dual-eligible or Medicaid plan benefits can change depending on where you live. Search using your ZIP code to find the best plan to meet your health care needs.

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Still have questions

We’re here to help

Contact us at:
1-844-812-5967 / TTY: 711
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, 7 days a week.