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Some lost Medicaid coverage after federal guidelines changed July 1

Some of the 1.5 million Missourians covered by Medicaid may have lost coverage on July 1, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services. Federal guidelines that ensured continued coverage during the pandemic expired that day.

The department was allowed to continue to conduct eligibility assessments in April, beginning the process of determining coverage. It also sent out warnings about the annual renewals and currently has a message on its website telling Medicaid recipients to check their mail and update their mailing addresses if needed.

A wide range of factors determine eligibility for Medicaid, although many people tend to lose coverage even if they are still eligible. According to a survey on the 2018-19 enrollment period done by the Missouri Budget Project, 87 percent of patients that lost coverage “still met income eligibility requirements, but lost coverage due solely to challenges in the renewal process.” Eighty-four percent “were unaware of the coverage loss until scheduling or attending an appointment.” Some of these challenges turn out to be simple mistakes, such as moving but not updating the address or not receiving renewal paperwork in the mail. Although enrollment dates vary based on the recipient, July 1 is the date on which Missourians can actually lose their coverage.

Missouri Coalition for Primary Health Care, which assists federally qualified health-care centers has been reaching out to Medicaid recipients to try to prevent some of the potential coverage loss.  Iva Eggert-Shepherd, the coalition’s senior outreach program manager, talked about what Medicaid recipients can do to avoid losing coverage if they are still eligible

“It is so important at this time to be watching your mail all the time, responding to all the forms that are sent to you and also making sure that your address is updated with the family support division,” she told “The Missouri Times. “We are focused on doing everything we can at the Missouri Primary Care Association to help people keep their insurance.”

More information is available at Healthcare | mydss.mo.gov or Get Affordable Health Insurance With Show Me Coverage.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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