Help Available to Hoosiers Navigating Medicaid Purge

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Indiana ranks 18th among states for the rate of dis-enrolling Medicaid enrollees after pandemic-era "continuous coverage" protection ended. (Adobe stock)

Thousands of Hoosiers who got their health coverage through Medicaid during the COVID-19 outbreak risk losing it now that the pandemic has ended. More than 140,000 people in Indiana have been purged from Medicaid rolls as the state rechecks eligibility. So far, about 120,000 were dropped for failing to comply with procedural requests, and 20,000 thousand are no longer eligible.

Jennifer Walden, a counselor with Indiana State Health Insurance Assistance Program, said it is extremely important to make sure all your information is current with the state Family Social Services Administration.

"Make sure your address is current, your income is current, your composition is up to date," she said. "Open your mail; it's so important that if you get a notice from FSSA that way you're aware of what they're asking for and what you need to do so you can stay covered."

If a Hoosier misses their redetermination and is disenrolled, they have 90 days to come back into compliance without submitting a new application and have their coverage reinstated and without any gaps in coverage based on their type of coverage and they meet all of the qualifications, unless they've picked up coverage under the Healthy Indiana Plan. HIP is a waiver program that does not retro back coverage

Marcus Robinson, president of markets for the individual and family plan business for UnitedHealthcare added anyone dropped from Medicaid may discover it is considered "a qualifying life event" which allows eligibility outside the yearly defined enrollment period - like sudden loss of employment, a change in marital status or having a baby.

"There's a lot of things that go into qualifying for Medicaid - obviously your income, ability or disability status, family size, amongst other things go into the qualification," he explained. "Each state has different qualifications and eligibility. That process has begun, with redeterminations continuing."

Moving, a death in the family or a change in your income are also little-known qualifying events, he said. There is more information on the UnitedHealthcare website.

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By Joe Ulery, Producer

Tuesday, August 8, 2023