Expiration of Medicaid’s continuous coverage provision is sparking concerns that some could lose Medicaid coverage

Published: Apr. 10, 2023 at 7:28 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) -The Division of Medicaid is going back to pre-pandemic operations, and you need to take action to avoid losing coverage.

A continuous enrollment provision in place since 2020 expired on the first of this month. Everyone from advocates to hospitals has been trying to spread the word in hopes of reducing the number of Medicaid recipients dropped from the rolls.

“Nobody wants any surprises at the moment or at the point of care, neither the provider and not just St. Dominic’s but any hospital, any doctor’s office, any of the medical services that you might take advantage of,” said Sister Karina Dickey, OP, St. Dominic VP of Mission Integration. “And certainly, patients don’t want to be caught by surprise.”

The Division of Medicaid says it will take 14 months to complete the renewals. They’ll first use electronic verification sources. But if they’re not able to approve you that way, you’ll get a form in the mail that you’ll have 30 days to return. Mississippi Health Advocacy Program says they’ll be there to field questions through Health Help Mississippi.

“We’re now going through this process where it’s very complex,” described Khaylah Scott, Mississippi Health Advocacy Program Policy Analyst. “If you don’t know or if you’re not as informed, then things can go wrong and that’s why we just want people to be as informed as they possibly can. We’re here to do that.”

There’s also an expected domino effect for the state’s hospitals. The Mississippi Hospital Association president/CEO Tim Moore described it in this way.

“Just back to the napkin looks that we’ve taken, we’ve seen roughly a 3% drop in uncompensated care,” he said in reference to the period of the public health emergency. “So, when that goes away, we’ll see that rise. There’s no question about it.”

So what does 3% really mean in the grand scheme of things?

“Just the cost of operations of a hospital in the state of Mississippi, if you pull them all together to keep our hospitals functioning, is $23 million a day,” added Moore. “So, when you start looking at 3% of the collected amount to provide those services...3 percentage is a large number.”

Medicaid says it’s not too late to update your information if you haven’t done so yet. You can find the form online here, and additional details about the unwinding of the provision can be found here.

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