Most adults who are enrolled in—or have a family member enrolled in—Medicaid reported they did not know their eligibility for the program will be redetermined when the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) ends.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act prohibited states from disenrolling individuals from Medicaid during the PHE, but states will resume regular renewals when the PHE ends. When they do, millions of people could lose Medicaid coverage, either because they are no longer eligible for the program or because they need to take action, such as updating their mailing address and verifying income, to remain enrolled.
Most adults with family Medicaid enrollment were not aware of the return to regular Medicaid renewals when the PHE expires.
62 percent of adults with family Medicaid enrollment reported hearing nothing at all about the forthcoming eligibility redeterminations, 16.2 percent reported hearing some, and 15.7 percent reported hearing only a little.
Only 5 percent of respondents reported hearing a lot about the return to regular Medicaid renewals.
The most common source of information for those who had heard about the resumption of renewals was media or social media (34.3%), followed by a state agency (30.6%), a health insurance company or plan (24.5%), a healthcare provider (17.8%), or somewhere else (6.5%).
Half of respondents (50.4%) who had heard from a state agency or health plan about the upcoming change received a notification about the need to renew coverage.
Just one in five (21.3%) were told how to get assistance with the renewal process.
Less than one-third (29%) were informed of the coverage options available to them if they become ineligible for Medicaid.
There are significant information gaps among Medicaid enrollees about changes looming at the end of the PHE. Researchers say it will be critical for State Medicaid agencies to increase communication efforts and simplify renewal processes to prevent unnecessary coverage losses.
About the Urban Institute
The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector. Visit the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center for more information specific to its staff and its recent research.
Stable, affordable health coverage for people in the U.S. is the starting point to improving health outcomes and building a Culture of Health. In the U.S. nearly 75 million people rely on Medicaid for health coverage.