Healthcare will soon once again be the topic of the day as millions of Americans prepare to lose their Medicaid coverage.
According to the Daily Caller, thanks to the COVID-19 public health emergency ending on April 1, over the next year, up to 14 million Americans will lose their coverage.
The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) noted that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) of 2020 made it so that states couldn't automatically disenroll people from Medicaid until the end of the month that the COVID public emergency formally ends.
KFF reported: "Based on illustrative scenarios—a 5% decline in total enrollment and a 13% decline in enrollment—KFF estimates that between 5.3 million and 14.2 million people will lose Medicaid coverage during the 12-month unwinding period
So for the millions of people who've experienced pay increases or other circumstances throughout the pandemic and were able to keep their free health insurance, that's about to change.
It's unclear when some states will begin the processes of disenrolling ineligible residents, but the AP reported that "Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, and West Virginia will move to purge ineligible recipients in April."
Currently, about 84 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid, which marks a 20 million person increase since the pandemic started in early 2020.
The Daily Caller added:
Medicaid recipients often experience temporary gaps in coverage due to temporary ineligibility, meaning they have to reenroll after being disenrolled in a process known as “churn,” according to KFF; the continuous coverage provision drastically reduced churn by blocking disenrollment.
Legal controversy concerning the states disenrolling residents is already cropping up, most recently in Idaho.
"Idaho dropped 10,000 from Medicaid during COVID-19, violating federal law. The incident showcases the potential for state bureaucracies to disenroll people and leave them vulnerable, a concern that could impact millions covered under Medicaid," NPR tweeted.
Idaho dropped 10,000 from Medicaid during COVID-19, violating federal law. The incident showcases the potential for state bureaucracies to disenroll people and leave them vulnerable, a concern that could impact millions covered under Medicaid.https://t.co/4k5QmFXHQu
— NPR (@NPR) February 27, 2023
In December, a coalition of governors wrote a letter to President Joe Biden informing him that by keeping the states from disenrolling people who are no longer eligible, it had a profoundly negative effect.
"The PHE is negatively affecting states, primarily by artificially growing our population covered under Medicaid (both traditional and expanded populations), regardless of whether individuals continue to be eligible under the program," the letter wrote.
Only time will tell what ultimately happens, but one can be assured that Medicaid and Medicare will dominate the next election cycle.