(NationalUSNews.com) – A coronavirus-era Medicaid policy is ending soon, and millions of Americans are facing the potential loss of their insurance coverage.
As a part of a relief package, the Federal Government prevented States from removing ineligible Medicaid subscribers from their rosters in order to provide assistance with the financial burdens carried by many during 2020. Those packages were created with an expiration date, and those dates are just around the corner.
As part of the policy terms, States were given supplemental funding to keep Medicaid recipients on board, and most low income families were able to keep their healthcare coverage, even as the pandemic progressed. Eligibility checks common in prior time periods were not required, and families were able to focus on other issues. The number of people making use of the Medicaid program rose from 70 million to 90 million Americans, and the country’s uninsured numbers reached all-time lows as unemployment rates reached concurrent highs.
The Affordable Care Act online marketplace is expected to see a sharp increase in applications for new insurance policies as millions of Medicaid recipients learn about their loss of coverage. Half of those many millions will be from African American or Hispanic families, and there is growing concern for the families in the middle who will not qualify for Medicaid going forward, but have an income that does not allow for subsidized plans through the marketplace.
States are handling the coming shifts differently, as many plan a year-long (or more) notification system, whereas some will drop ineligible subscribers as soon as late April. State lawmakers and Medicaid administrators vary in their approach as well, some eager to return to pre-policy terms, and some wary of the confusion it may cause for families losing coverage, especially those with pre-existing, ongoing health conditions that warrant continued health insurance.
Regardless, the process will be daunting for policy-makers, and for those whose lives are affected by those very policies.
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