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Over Half a Million Texans Lose Medicaid Coverage Amid State Review

Over Half a Million Texans Lose Medicaid Coverage Amid State Review

According to data from the state’s health and human services commission, more than half a million Texans have lost their Medicaid health insurance after having it continuously for more than three years during the COVID-19 outbreak.

People under the age of 25 and people who have just given birth are disproportionately represented among those who are afflicted. A commission representative indicated that the people of Texas who lost their health insurance were covered until the end of May or June, depending on when their case was reviewed.

The federal government enacted a new rule in the initial weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, mandating all Medicaid recipients to maintain their coverage for the duration of the pandemic. As state enrollment increased, so did the federal funding available to support it.

With the deadline for compliance having passed on March 31, states across the United States are now conducting reviews of Medicaid enrollees to determine who is no longer eligible for the program due to factors such as reaching the age of majority, experiencing a change in their household’s income, or having their baby more than two months ago.

In April, Texas began the multi-year process of reevaluating the Medicaid eligibility of all 5.9 million of its current beneficiaries. According to the commission’s numbers, more than 600,000 Texans have undergone evaluations thus far.

About 112,000 of those persons had their Medicaid coverage reinstated after being determined to still meet eligibility requirements. Almost 96,000 Texans lost their eligibility and another 173,000 are still waiting for their renewal to be finalized.

A further nearly 405,000 Texans lost coverage due to technicalities, such as not responding to the state’s information packet or not providing the needed information on time. A state resident has 30 days to respond to a request for more information.

Activists have been sounding the alarm about this potential problem for years, pointing out that people may fail to get important mail, phone calls, or texts if they have just relocated or altered their contact information.

There were over 394,000 persons in Tarrant County who were enrolled in Medicaid at the beginning of this year. According to state enrollment data from February, 78 percent of them were under the age of 21. Previous research had projected that between 50,000 and 66,000 people living in Tarrant County would lose their Medicaid coverage as a result.

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County-level information on where people have lost Medicaid coverage has not been made public by the state. The Biden administration pushed states to phase out Medicaid enrollees more gradually and to covered until the end of May or June.

Medicaid is a state-run health insurance program for low-income residents, but its specifics vary by location. Few adults in Texas qualify for the program. Medicaid in Texas primarily covers medical expenses for pregnant women, the disabled, and low-income children. Only ten states, including Texas, have opted out of expanding Medicaid to cover more individuals.

Most Texans over the age of 18 who do not have a disability are not eligible for Medicaid, so they must either shop for coverage in the Health care Marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act or look for employment that includes health care as part of its benefits package.

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