CHC/SEK INCREASING PATIENT AWARENESS AS MEDICAID UNWINDING BEGINS
On March 31, thousands of Kansans with Medicaid coverage (KanCare) are at risk of losing their coverage as the state moves forward with eligibility redeterminations for more than 500,000 KanCare recipients. The process has been referred to several ways, including “unwinding,” eligibility reviews, renewals, redetermination. The Medicaid unwinding process also affects Medicaid recipients in Missouri and Oklahoma and in all states, the redetermination process begins when the Medicaid recipient receives a letter from their respective state that they must respond to in order to remain covered.
At Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas about 20,000 patients are enrolled in Medicaid coverage and Community Health Workers are working to inform covered patients that renewals are coming back, and to be looking for a letter from their state plan.
At the start of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which included a provision that state Medicaid programs keep recipients continuously enrolled through the end of the month in which the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) ends, in exchange for enhanced federal funding.
Three years later, the continuous enrollment provision is set to expire on March 31, and states including Kansas are starting to re-determine annual eligibility for all of their Medicaid recipients. All beneficiaries will receive a Medicaid eligibility redetermination letter requesting information that they must respond to in order to remain covered.
Some patients will no longer be eligible due to income, age, or health status change.
“One of our concerns at CHC/SEK is that we know the pandemic displaced many KanCare/Medicaid] recipients from their traditional mailing addresses,” says Leah Gagnon, Director of Patient Engagement. “Our worry is whether or not they thought to notify KanCare or their respective agency of their address change, because if not, they might not know to respond to their redetermination letter.”
Gagnon says there are three important questions every KanCare or other Medicaid patient or their guardian needs to ask themselves They are, “Have I moved in the last three years? If so, did I report my change of address to the appropriate Medicaid agency? And, have I seen an official redetermination letter in my mail box and responded to it? If not, you are at risk of losing Medicaid coverage.” she says.
CHC/SEK has planned an extensive awareness campaign including signs and flyers, text messaging, social media posts and videos to educate Medicaid enrollees of the importance of the coming redetermination letters.
At CHC/SEK clinics, Community Health Workers and Benefits Enrollment Specialists are available to assist patients in the process and can reach them directly by calling 620-240-8919.
Medicaid Recipients can also go to Medicaid.gov and click on their state map, where it takes them to their state Medicaid website to update their address and other information.
Medicaid recipients can also contact their appropriate agencies by telephone. The number for Kansas Kancare is 800-792-4884 For Missouri, the MoHealthnet number is 573-751-3425 and, for Oklahoma the Oklahoma Health Authority/Soonercare number is 800-987-7767.