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Thousands of Kansas and Missouri residents are at risk of losing their health insurance in the next couple of months. Health Forward is providing information on the impact redetermination will have on Kansans and Missourians and asking partners to help educate those they serve on Medicaid enrollment renewal.
Raising awareness to anyone who might be affected by the unwinding of the public health emergency is the most important thing we can do right now. If you know or are assisting anyone who may be insured through Medicaid, please connect them with the resources below.
You may also refer people needing re-enrollment assistance to a federally qualified health center (FQHC), safety net hospital, or other public health provider to get assistance and advice on how to ensure you don’t lose health insurance coverage during the unwinding.
The national COVID-19 public health emergency, which prevented states from removing residents from Medicaid rolls, is set to expire on May 11.
The success of Medicaid enrollment during the pandemic can be seen by the total number of uninsured people across the country, which hit an all-time low of 8 percent in 2022. We may see a reversal of those gains in the coming year.
Starting in April, and lasting over the next 14 months, states will have to complete their redeterminations on who will — and more importantly won’t — remain eligible to participate in their Medicaid programs.
Prior to the pandemic, Medicaid redeterminations were an annual process for each state, but the public health emergency banned states from unenrolling Medicaid participants. That process is now resuming.
What redetermination means for Kansas
For Kansans, redetermination begins on May 1. This means in a few short days, Kansans who were enrolled in Medicaid during the public health emergency could find themselves completely uninsured and put themselves at medical and financial risk if they were to be struck with a health emergency.
Because the Kansas Legislature has not expanded Medicaid, there are fewer options for health insurance for hardworking Kansas families if they are unenrolled. The pandemic created a brief reprieve from exorbitant medical bills for families who did not qualify for Medicaid but could not afford insurance.
A recent Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that 41 percent of adults currently have some medical debt. Medical debt is one of the main reasons people go into debt, which is a significant social barrier that Health Forward is working to reduce so our communities can be inclusive, powerful, and healthy.
Even people who signed up for Medicaid during the pandemic and remain eligible for the program are not safe from losing coverage. How can this be? It’s a variety of factors. Some people may have changed addresses resulting in the state’s inability to send a renewal form to the correct address. Others may not have the same phone number or access to the internet to check emails.
The best thing Kansans can do before May 1 is to contact the state to make sure their information is current. Residents with access to the internet can visit www.kancare.ks.gov or call 1-800-792-4884. This will help the state make sure it has a way to contact you when it’s time for renewal. They can also contact a federally qualified health center (FQHC), safety net hospital, or other public health provider to get assistance.
Kansas – https://www.kdhe.ks.gov/DocumentCenter/View/15100/FQHCs-Safety-Net-Clinics-CHMCs-PDF
What redetermination means for Missouri
Missouri begins redetermination on June 1. Missouri residents are also at risk but have more options because the people of Missouri voted to expand Medicaid coverage in 2020. Missourians may be able to be reclassified from coverage under the public health emergency to coverage under the newly eligible criteria created when Missouri expanded Medicaid – both of which happened around the same time.
Missourians can update their contact information by visiting mydss.mo.gov/renew or by calling 855-373-4636.
Health Forward is also beginning to work with partners on the Missouri side to conduct outreach and education on this important issue.
Missouri – https://dss.mo.gov/business-processes/managed-care/health-plan-reporting-schedules-templates/fqhc-rhc-cmhc-safety-net-hospitals-lpha-family-planning-std-providers.xlsx
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