BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The federal government recently announced the end of Medicaid’s continuous enrollment condition, which will result in a process that’s expected to impact thousands of people across Louisiana.
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) let states keep nearly all Medicaid enrollees registered.
But COVID’s impact on the U.S. has declined. Federal officials say they expect the virus’s classification as a Public Health Emergency to expire May 11.
As a result, the Continuous Enrollment Condition ended March 31.
Understanding the ‘unwinding’ of Medicaid
In late April, Medicaid will start sending letters and renewal packets to members who must provide more information for officials to determine if they’re still eligible for services. This will be a yearlong process that’s called “unwinding.”
Essentially, states will return to pre-COVID normal eligibility operations and must redetermine each enrollee’s eligibility. In December, Congress decided to resume Medicaid terminations on April 1, but Louisiana will begin terminating people starting July 1.
James Ducote, the deputy director of Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana, said the effects will be far-reaching.
Ducote explained, “169,000 Medicaid consumers will be redetermined for eligibility each month for a 12-month period. The state expects that about half of the 2 million enrolled will be automatically renewed using federal data to check income. Letters stating their coverage is renewed for another year will be mailed, but because this is being rolled out over the next year, not everyone will receive a letter right away.”
Where to get help
Ducote and his colleagues are urging residents who are dependent on Medicaid to contact Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana for help.
“Connecting with one of our certified Navigators to schedule a free one-on-one appointment to assist with updating their account information, checking eligibility and applying for Medicaid or a Marketplace Insurance Plan is easy,” Ducote said. “You can simply call 1-800-435-2432 or go to our website at GetCoveredLA.org and fill out our online request form.”
The Louisiana Department of Health reports that as of March 2023, there were a total of 2,045,359 Medicaid enrollees across the state.