Toolkit and other resources help Hoosier Medicaid recipients navigate end of federal public health emergency

The federal public health emergency during the pandemic put a pause on certain requirements that Hoosiers generally must meet to remain eligible for Medicaid. Some Medicaid programs, including traditional Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Healthy Indiana Plan, have temporarily suspended traditional rules that required updated paperwork and documentation to remain eligible for coverage.

April 1 marks the end of the federal mandate that requires states to provide continued coverage, leaving some Hoosiers ineligible for Medicaid.

Doris Higgins is Director of Agency Support and Community Strategies at Covering Kids and Families of Indiana.

She said the exact day people could lose continued coverage differs depending on the dates they signed up, the number of family members enrolled in the plan and other factors.

“It’s not April 1 that people might lose their coverage, it’s within the next twelve months,” she said.

READ MORE: End of federal public health emergency confuses recipients and providers

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She said about 75% of Hoosiers receiving Medicaid have already completed paperwork to update their information that will keep them eligible for coverage, or have sought new coverage. However, she explained that it’s important for people to make these changes as soon as possible, as these dates will vary and could end soon.

Higgins said there are people the state hasn’t been able to reach or haven’t followed the proper guidelines to stay eligible.

“We are really concerned about the 25% or approximately 500,000 Hoosiers [on] Medicaid who either couldn’t reach them to make their re-determination, or they haven’t responded, they haven’t submitted paperwork, or they know they have more income,” she said. .

She said of those 500,000, a large portion of them are still eligible for Medicaid. However, she says many of them need to take action quickly or they will be phased out of coverage.

She recommends three steps for those who want to maintain coverage.

First, she says it’s important to update your contact information so the state can reach you.

Then she says to open any letters sent to you by the state or health care providers.

“Read them and if you don’t understand get help and also open letters from your health care plan because they are for people too,” she said.

The last and most important part, she said, is asking for help.

“There are Indiana-certified navigators all over the state who can help people sort this out and figure out what they need to do,” she said.

She also directed Hoosiers to the Covering Kids and Families website, where they have a toolkit with important information and dates for Medicaid recipients and other resources for finding and talking to navigators.

Higgins explained that this research will also be useful for healthcare providers and insurance navigators.

“They’re going to have a lot of people coming to them with questions and concerns,” she said. “So this toolkit is also a place where we can start sharing information that is important to them.”

She added that anyone working with Medicaid can help relay information about resources and coverage.

“Order posters, display them, distribute flyers, and then also connect with your local boating organization, whether it’s Covering Kids and Families, your local federally qualified health center, your community mental health center, whoever does that kind of work for you locally,” she said. “Have someone you can refer people to so you can help them sort this out and avoid loss of coverage.”

Higgins added that the toolkit will be updated monthly with more information.

Violet is our daily reporter. Contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @ComberWilen.

Copyright 2023 IPB News. To learn more, visit IPB News.

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