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Survey Shows One-Quarter of Individuals Previously on Medicaid Remain Uninsured



One-fourth of people dropped from Medicaid still aren't insured, survey shows, ET HealthWorld

In a recent survey, it has been revealed that almost a quarter of people who were removed from Medicaid during post-pandemic eligibility reviews are still without insurance due to high costs preventing them from obtaining another plan. The survey conducted by KFF’s unwinding tracker found that over 20 million lower-income Americans have lost their federal health insurance since the provision preventing states from disenrolling individuals during COVID-19 was lifted in March 2023. This number exceeds the Biden administration’s initial estimate of 15 million people.

Medicaid enrollment across the nation surged by nearly one-third during the pandemic, increasing from 71 million people in February 2020 to 94 million in April 2023. Experts anticipate that the number of disenrollments and uninsured individuals will continue to rise as states have until at least June, and some even longer, to complete eligibility reviews. Joan Alker, executive director of Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, emphasized that the survey does not account for children, who have been significantly impacted by Medicaid unwinding.

The survey highlighted that half of individuals enrolled in Medicaid prior to the unwinding were uninformed about the process, with 56% of those dropped reporting delays in accessing necessary medical care during the renewal process. Sara Rosenbaum from George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services noted that healthcare costs pose a significant burden for low-income Americans, as even nominal fees can be prohibitive for some individuals.

Despite efforts to renew Medicaid coverage, many respondents faced challenges such as long wait times on phone calls and issues with paperwork. The survey also indicated disparities in the renewal process, particularly in states that have not expanded Medicaid, where Black and Hispanic individuals were more likely to be asked for proof of residency. As more than 30 million people await Medicaid renewals and 43.6 million have had their coverage renewed, the complexity of the process remains an obstacle for those entitled to coverage.

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