Renewals effort results mixed

As part of the nationwide effort to encourage people to renew their Medicaid eligibility, nearly 50,000 Minnesotans took action to […]

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As part of the nationwide effort to encourage people to renew their Medicaid eligibility, nearly 50,000 Minnesotans took action to keep their Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare health insurance, the Minnesota Department of Human Services announced. 

“Minnesota is taking a careful approach to ensure that eligible people keep their insurance,” said Human Services Commissioner Jodi Harpstead. “DHS and our community partners are doing everything from text reminders, to letters, phone calls, posters, events and extended deadlines as we urge people to return their paperwork. We add new approaches every month and will keep making adjustments to reach as many people as we can.” 

States across the country were required to restart checking people’s eligibility for Medicaid programs earlier this year after a nearly three-year national pause during the COVID pandemic, which kept people insured when coverage was needed most. National estimates show that about 5.8 million people in other states have had their Medicaid coverage renewed, while approximately 3.7 million people have already lost coverage. 

The call to action for individuals to check their mail and return the forms on time to retain coverage for MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance insurance started this May for the 97,900 individuals who have an annual renewal date in July. The Department of Human Services, counties, tribes, health plans, health care providers, Tribal health partners and other stakeholders deployed multiple strategies to remind individuals to renew their health care from sending direct mail and text messages, to phone calls and some in-person contacts. To ensure as many individuals kept their coverage as possible, outreach efforts increased over the summer, coupled with the Department of Human Services extending the renewal deadlines by 30 days for the first two groups. 

Coverage was extended until the fall for 10,000 enrollees who get their Medical Assistance coverage based on having a disability, being blind or being aged 65 or older as part of the state’s mitigation plan with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 
Medical Assistance coverage ended for about 5,600 people who submitted renewal forms and were found ineligible, or referred to MNsure, the state’s health insurance marketplace. 

Coverage also stopped for about 32,600 people whose status is unknown. Some likely didn’t submit forms because they already had insurance from an employer or knew they were no longer qualified for MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance. Others may not have an updated mailing address on file or did not realize that the documents were important. 

People who missed their renewal deadline should still turn in their forms because they may be able to reenroll or even qualify for retroactive coverage. Enrollment for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare is always open, and people can apply at any time. 

“Continued coverage is critical for access to vital medical and social services for Minnesotans across the state,” said Matt Freeman of the Minnesota Association of County Social Services Administrators, the statewide organization for county human services directors. “Minnesota counties are diligently processing applications and doing outreach to Minnesotans, in partnership with community organizations, providers, and the state, to determine individuals’ and families’ continued eligibility in a timely manner.” 

People can look up the deadline for their paperwork at Renew My Coverage. Free help filling out the forms is available through MNsure navigators in trusted community organizations. 

One in four Minnesotans have either MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance, Minnesota’s Medicaid program. Between July 2023 and May 2024, state, county and Tribal workers will check eligibility requirements for 1.5 million Minnesotans in monthly batches. 

For more information about Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare renewals, including how to connect with a navigator, visit Renew My Coverage

(Source: Minnesota DHS) 

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