A Quarter of People Who Dropped Medicaid Are Still Uninsured, Survey Shows | Trending Viral hub

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Nearly a quarter of people who were dropped from Medicaid during post-pandemic eligibility reviews are still uninsured and high costs are preventing them from getting another plan, a new survey showed Friday.

At least 20 million low-income Americans have lost their federal insurance. health insurance since the provision preventing states from disenrolling people during COVID-19 ended in March 2023, according to KFF’s disenrollment tracker. That’s more than the Biden administration’s initial projection of 15 million people.

States have until at least June (some more) to finalize eligibility reviews, so experts say the number is likely to rise. National Medicaid enrollment increased by nearly a third during the pandemic, from 71 million people in February 2020 to 94 million in April 2023.

The number of casualties and uninsured people could be much higher, said Joan Alker, executive director and co-founder of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University. This is because the survey does not take into account children, who have been one of the groups most affected by the relaxation.

“The question is, ‘How long are they going to stay uninsured?’” he said. “States that want to cover their citizens will have to work hard to get them back.”

Half of people who were enrolled in Medicaid before leaving said they had heard little or nothing about the process, according to the KFF survey, which includes responses from 1,227 adults who were previously covered by Medicaid.

Fifty-six percent of people who were discharged said in the survey that they postponed needed medical care while trying to renew.

AND health care Costs of any kind can be a major burden for low-income Americans, said Sara Rosenbaum of the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

“Suddenly, a visit that didn’t cost you anything (before), let’s say it’s going to cost you five dollars. That $5 can be $500 for some people,” she said.

Most respondents also said they had problems trying to renew their Medicaid coverage, such as long wait times on the phone and problems with paperwork. It’s in line with concerns advocates and officials had about the large number of procedural disenrollments, when people were disenrolled due to paperwork errors or failure to return forms.

In the 10 states that have not yet expanded Medicaid, people were more likely to be required to show proof of residency to renew their coverage, the KFF survey showed, with Black people more likely to be asked for proof and Hispanics in general.

That makes an already complicated process even more arduous.

“We have known for decades that the more cumbersome the application and renewal process is,” Rosenbaum said, “the more likely it is that fully eligible people will not get the coverage to which they are entitled.”

According to KFF, more than 30 million people are still waiting for Medicaid renewals, while 43.6 million have had their coverage renewed.

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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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