Medicaid Coverage Requirement is Set to Expire April 1, Threatening Health Care for Millions of Families
Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor and Colin Allred joined Protect Our Care for a press conference calling governors across the country to protect coverage for families as the requirement to keep people on Medicaid ends April 1. The speakers will talk about the responsibility governors have to use their authority and resources to ensure children and families counting on Medicaid do not lose coverage due to burdensome paperwork and bureaucratic red tape.
Congress passed legislation at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to protect access to Medicaid by ensuring no one could be disenrolled during the public health emergency. This provision has helped secure the lowest level of uninsured Americans ever. When the requirement ends, an estimated 15 million people could potentially lose coverage, disproportionately affecting people of color and children. It is especially important to keep families covered in all the states where leaders continue to reject Medicaid expansion, including Florida and Texas. The Biden-Harris administration has committed to expanding access to care and providing guidance to states to assess eligibility in a way that will minimize coverage losses, particularly for children, people of color, people with disabilities, and others who rely on the Medicaid program for their health care.
“Medicaid has been a lifeline to our neighbors for the past three years, thanks to the swift congressional action at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Having continuous coverage has brought a sense of financial and health security to many throughout the pandemic, particularly our nation’s children and new parents,” said U.S. Representative Kathy Castor. “Governor DeSantis and his colleagues across the country must take all available steps to ensure that individuals who are renewing their Medicaid coverage are provided every opportunity to stay enrolled in Medicaid if they are eligible, or to be given help enrolling in other affordable coverage options, like the Affordable Care Act marketplace.”
“Governor Abbott has a responsibility to make sure that Texans who qualify for Medicaid don’t get bogged down in red tape and paperwork – especially the 1.4 million kids and 300,000 Texas moms who are at risk of losing coverage,” said U.S. Representative Colin Allred. “I worry that our state is not prepared for the amount of processing it will take to ensure that there’s no lapse in coverage for these families. That’s why it’s so important that we do all we can to get these families the resources and information they need to keep their family healthy.”
“It is the responsibility of every state and every governor to be sure that those who qualify for Medicaid stay covered. This means helping everyone to understand their coverage options and giving them the help they need to re-enroll so that no one loses their health care because they fail to submit the right paperwork or simply because they were not communicated in the language most appropriate for them,” said Leslie Dach, Chair of Protect Our Care. “It is critical to understand what’s at risk here – the families, people who are working hard every day, people with disabilities, children, moms who rely on Medicaid could lose access to basic health care. Every state elected official must think of their own families and what it would be like if health care was ripped away from them for no reason.”