Don’t risk a gap in your Medicaid or CHIP coverage. Get ready to renew now.

Your renewal may have been on pause due to the COVID19 pandemic, but it’s making a comeback. Be sure your state knows your current address so you receive your renewal letter.

Do you or a family member currently have health coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)? If so, you may soon need to take steps to find out if you can continue your coverage.

Medicaid eligibility renewals were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic but are re-starting soon. This means that almost everyone on Medicaid in the US will need to renew their eligibility at some point between now and May 2024.

What happened?

In March 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) temporarily waived certain Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements and conditions. The easing of these rules helped prevent people with Medicaid and CHIP—in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories—from losing their health coverage during the pandemic.

However, states will soon be required to restart Medicaid and CHIP eligibility reviews.

According to some estimates, when states resume these reviews, up to 15 million people could lose their current Medicaid or CHIP coverage through a process called “unwinding.”

What can I do to prepare for this?

  • Make sure your address is up to date
    • Make sure your state has your current mailing address, phone number, email, or other contact information. This way, they’ll be able to contact you about your Medicaid or CHIP coverage.
  • Check your mail
    • Your state will mail you a letter about your Medicaid or CHIP coverage. This letter will also let you know if you need to complete a renewal form to see if you still qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. If you get a renewal form, fill it out and return it to your state right away. This may help you avoid a gap in your coverage.
  • What if you don’t qualify for Medicaid or CHIP?
    • If you or a family member no longer qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, you may be able to buy a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace®.
    • Losing Medicaid or CHIP coverage is a Qualifying Life Event (QLE), which allows you to enroll in a Marketplace plan outside of the Open Enrollment Period.
    • Marketplace plans are:
      • Affordable. 4 out of 5 enrollees can find plans that cost less than $10 a month.
      • Comprehensive. Most plans cover things like prescription drugs, doctor visits, urgent care, hospital visits, and more.
      • Visit HealthCare.gov to find Marketplace plans.

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about the author

Audrey Vernick is our Director of Patient and Family Advocacy. She is the parent of a child who had hemispherectomy for seizures caused by stroke. She holds a level 2 certification in Special Education Advocacy Training from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates and is certified by The ARC in future planning.

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