New KFF Focus Groups Reveal Medicaid Enrollee Experiences During Unwinding

Over six months after the expiration of pandemic-era enrollment protections, no less than 27 million Medicaid enrollees—or more or less one-in-three enrollees around the nation—have finished their state’s eligibility renewal procedure for this system. Over 18 million other people have had their protection renewed and over 10 million were disenrolled, as of November 8, 2023.

New KFF focus groups glance underneath the numbers on the reports of enrollees who’ve long gone during the Medicaid renewal procedure. Drawing from 5 center of attention teams with adults in Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania who had their protection renewed or who had been disenrolled, the focal point teams probed enrollees’ reports with Medicaid, consciousness of the tip of the continual enrollment provision, reports renewing their protection in fresh months, and—in the event that they had been disenrolled—their efforts to regain Medicaid or transition to different protection. Insights from center of attention workforce members spotlight each the place processes are operating neatly and the place insurance policies and techniques create administrative limitations to keeping up Medicaid protection for many who stay eligible.

Some of the key takeaways:

  • Maximum members who effectively renewed their Medicaid protection discovered the method fast and simple, particularly when executed on-line. Alternatively, some members reported limitations to finishing or filing forms and confronted lengthy processing occasions. Some additionally skilled issues of figuring out notices and different communications from the states, in addition to demanding situations getting via to name facilities.
  • Members who had been disenrolled misplaced their protection for various causes, and a few didn’t know why they’d been disenrolled. A number of mentioned they didn’t obtain any notices from the state and didn’t notice they’d misplaced their protection till they went to fill a prescription. After dropping Medicaid, some members reenrolled in Medicaid temporarily whilst some acquired protection via their employer or the Market. Folks now not eligible for Medicaid and with out get right of entry to to employer protection must typically be eligible for backed protection during the ACA Market, even though some would possibly fall into the “protection hole” in states that experience no longer expanded Medicaid below the ACA. Some members, then again, become uninsured. For instance, one player’s postpartum protection was once terminated regardless of nonetheless being eligible, and he or she may no longer get her protection reinstated. Every other mentioned Market premiums had been unaffordable. A number of who misplaced protection confronted really extensive out-of-pocket prices for medically vital care or went with out care as a result of they might no longer find the money for it.
  • Members mentioned Medicaid permits them to get right of entry to well being care services and products, psychological well being services and products, and medicines for themselves and their kids with restricted out-of-pocket prices and ceaselessly assists in keeping them wholesome sufficient to paintings. Consciousness that Medicaid protection were safe all over the pandemic and that disenrollments had begun once more of their state various amongst members.
  • Many members mentioned that dropping Medicaid could be damaging because of lack of get right of entry to to wanted prescriptions and coverings. They believed that dropping Medicaid would purpose a major decline of their bodily and psychological well being and expressed nervousness on the considered now not having Medicaid protection for themselves or their kids.

As unwinding continues, those enrollee reports can lend a hand tell coverage makers about alternatives to strengthen conversation and outreach, simplify notices, supply help with renewals together with via name facilities, and lend a hand enrollees who had been disenrolled regain Medicaid if eligible or transition to different protection if now not eligible.

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