What Happens After People Lose Medicaid Coverage?

Firstly of the pandemic, Congress enacted the Households First Coronavirus Reaction Act (FFCRA), which incorporated a temporary requirement that Medicaid systems stay other folks steadily enrolled and, in trade, states won enhanced federal investment. Underneath the continual enrollment provision, Medicaid enrollment has grown considerably in comparison to sooner than the pandemic and the nationwide uninsured rate has declined. Provisions within the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), signed into regulation in December 2022, finish the continual enrollment provision on March 31, 2023, and section down the improved federal Medicaid matching price range via December 2023. When the continual enrollment provision ends, on the other hand, tens of millions of other folks may just lose Medicaid, doubtlessly reversing contemporary positive factors in medical health insurance protection.

A key query is whether or not other folks shedding Medicaid will be capable of transition to and retain different kinds of protection, together with Reasonably priced Care Act (ACA) market plans with top class help or employer-sponsored well being advantages.

This transient makes use of pre-pandemic knowledge from the 2016-2019 Scientific Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) to inspect the level to which individuals join in and retain different protection all over the one year following disenrollment from Medicaid/CHIP. See the “Strategies” segment on the finish of this transient for extra main points. Key findings come with:

  • Within the 12 months following a disenrollment from Medicaid/CHIP, more or less two-thirds (65%) of other folks had a length of uninsurance.
  • Kind of 4 in ten (41%) individuals who disenrolled from Medicaid/CHIP ultimately re-enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP inside a 12 months (or “churn”).

Key Findings

Within the 12 months that adopted a disenrollment from Medicaid/CHIP, more or less two-thirds (65%) of other folks had a length of uninsurance whilst simply 35% had been steadily enrolled in protection (Determine 1). The 65% of Medicaid/CHIP enrollees who skilled uninsurance after disenrolling is composed of people that had been: uninsured for the total 12 months (17%), uninsured for probably the most 12 months and had any other supply of protection all over the 12 months (16%), and uninsured after disenrolling however ultimately re-enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP (or “churned”) sooner than the top of the 12 months (33%). The 35% of Medicaid/CHIP enrollees who maintained protection for the total 12 months after disenrollment from Medicaid/CHIP consist of people that: had been enrolled in any other supply of protection for the total 12 months (26%) and had any other supply of protection for probably the most 12 months but additionally re-enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP sooner than the 12 months ended (9%). Significantly, most people who had been lined for the total 12 months after disenrollment had a length of overlapping protection sooner than shedding Medicaid/CHIP all over which era that they had each Medicaid/CHIP and personal medical health insurance.

Kind of 4 in ten (41%) individuals who disenrolled from Medicaid/CHIP would ultimately pass directly to re-enroll in Medicaid/CHIP inside a 12 months (Determine 2). That crew is composed of people that re-enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP after a length of uninsurance (33%) and who re-enrolled after having different protection (9%). Amongst all enrollees who churned, 79% had been uninsured sooner than they re-enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP. Churn happens for a number of causes. Enrollees would possibly enjoy momentary adjustments in source of revenue that lead them to briefly ineligible. Churn may additionally occur when people who find themselves nonetheless eligible for Medicaid/CHIP lose protection for administrative causes, corresponding to difficulties finishing annual renewals. In the end, churning off and on Medicaid/CHIP can restrict get admission to to care and result in delays in getting wanted care. Even for individuals who produce other protection sooner than re-enrolling in Medicaid/CHIP, churning could cause disruptions in protection when it calls for other folks to switch their well being care suppliers or to navigate via other get advantages programs.


Those findings spotlight that many of us don’t transition to and retain different protection when they disenroll from Medicaid/CHIP. Total, 65% of the folks had an opening in protection all over the 12 months following disenrollment from Medicaid/CHIP and most effective 26% of other folks enrolled in and retained any other supply of protection for the total 12 months after shedding Medicaid/CHIP protection. Of people that disenroll from Medicaid/CHIP, 41% re-enrolled throughout the 12 months. That quantity contains 33% who re-enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP after a length of uninsurance, suggesting that many of us had been nonetheless eligible once they misplaced Medicaid/CHIP protection. Even amongst individuals who to begin with enrolled in different protection, 34% didn’t retain it for the total 12 months; those people ultimately misplaced their different protection (and develop into uninsured) or they re-enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP. Normally, other folks in our research who had overlapping protection (i.e., Medicaid/CHIP and personal protection) previous to shedding Medicaid/CHIP had been much less prone to develop into uninsured or churn when put next to people who didn’t have overlapping protection.

KFF estimates that between 5 and 14 million other folks will lose Medicaid protection when states “unwind” the continual enrollment provision this 12 months. Starting April 1, 2023, states can resume disenrollments for the primary time since March 2020. One of the individuals who will probably be disenrolled all over the unwinding will probably be ineligible and can develop into uninsured if they don’t transition to different protection. Others will lose protection for administrative causes regardless of nonetheless being eligible. Whilst the tens of millions of people that lose protection all over the unwinding will face identical demanding situations as the ones incorporated on this research, there also are necessary variations nowadays. For one, Congress extended enhanced subsidies for the ACA market, that have been first incorporated within the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) all over the pandemic, making the ones plans more affordable via 2025. Moreover, on account of the continual enrollment provision, an increasing number of Medicaid enrollees nowadays file additionally being enrolled in non-public insurance coverage in comparison to sooner than the pandemic, which must cut back protection disruptions for those people once they disenroll from Medicaid. Then again, this most effective represents a subset of people that will probably be disenrolled all over the unwinding procedure. Most people who will lose Medicaid all over the unwinding as a result of they’re not eligible will nonetheless want to transition to (and retain) different medical health insurance to keep away from an opening in protection.

State Medicaid businesses and different stakeholders can take several steps to scale back protection disruptions and churn all over the unwinding length. Extensively, those movements may just come with making improvements to state eligibility programs, streamlining renewal procedures, speaking with enrollees in regards to the want to whole a renewal, and facilitating transitions to the ACA market or separate CHIP protection for other folks discovered ineligible for Medicaid. The government has issued guidance geared toward decreasing protection disruptions for Medicaid/CHIP enrollees and has imposed new reporting requirements to observe states’ unwinding processes. Even supposing our research supplies a pre-pandemic baseline for peoples’ medical health insurance adjustments after shedding Medicaid/CHIP protection, state insurance policies for the unwinding can have a significant affect on whether or not other folks will probably be extra a success in transitioning to different protection after shedding Medicaid in comparison to pre-pandemic developments.

Knowledge Supply

This research makes use of knowledge from the Scientific Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) for panels 21, 22, and 23, that have been accrued between 2016 and 2019. MEPS panels usually duvet a two-year length (24 months), even though panel 23 was once prolonged for an extra 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic. Our research most effective used the primary 2 years (24 months) of panel 23. Our estimates account for the MEPS survey design and use longitudinal weights. We used per 30 days insurance coverage variables to spot Medicaid enrollees and medical health insurance results all over the find out about length.

Find out about Inhabitants and Exclusions

We restricted our research to people who had been disenrolled from Medicaid/CHIP throughout the first 13 months of the survey panel to permit for a complete 12-month follow-up length. We additional restricted the research to other folks with no less than 4 consecutive months of Medicaid/CHIP sooner than they disenrolled to exclude any individual who was once enrolled beneath presumptive eligibility or for emergency products and services however then made up our minds to be ineligible. We excluded other folks ages 65 and older and the ones beneath 65 with Medicare as a result of Medicare is the principle payer for acute care when other folks have each Medicare and Medicaid. In the end, we excluded a small choice of people who had been out of the survey’s scope all over the find out about length (as an example, if any individual dies, strikes in a foreign country, or turns into institutionalized). After those exclusions, our ultimate pattern incorporated 1,160 respondents.

Well being Insurance coverage Standing

For each and every month all over the panel, we created a trademark that categorized people as both enrolled in Medicaid; having different, non-Medicaid protection; or as uninsured. For other folks with Medicaid, we additionally created any other indicator that recognized whether or not people had a secondary supply of protection whilst enrolled in Medicaid. Significantly, in 2018, MEPS changed how they requested the health coverage questions for people residing in the similar family as the principle respondent. As much as 2018 well being protection questions had been requested on the family degree (e.g., “Has any individual within the circle of relatives been lined via…?”), however the questionnaire was once up to date to invite those questions as the individual degree (e.g., “Used to be Individual 1 lined via…?”). Then again, we think that the trade had minimum affect on how respondents reported medical health insurance protection for family contributors.

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