WASHINGTON, DC – April 4, 2022 – An Urban Institute report estimated up to 12.9 million Americans could lose their Medicaid coverage if the public health emergency is not extended beyond April 16th. The federal government provided federal aid to states on the condition that they would not remove people from Medicaid until the COVID-19 pandemic is over in order to maintain health coverage during this emergency. Medicaid sign-ups have increased to 78.9 million as of November, the most recent figure available. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has not announced a decision on whether to extend the public health emergency, although the agency has extended the emergency every 90 days.
The end of the health emergency would affect the health care industry because federal agencies created temporary initiatives to subsidize private health insurance, improve access to telehealth, provide additional funding to hospitals and make it easier for companies to bring products to the market under emergency use. These programs will cease when the emergency ends.
People who lose their Medicaid coverage may not be aware they can qualify for other programs such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program, subsidized coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, or Medicare. The federal government has encouraged states to coordinate with community organizations to educate people who might lose coverage. State Medicaid agencies will have 12 months to check the eligibility of every person and notify those who no longer qualify.
States can lose more than one half million jobs and $54 billion in economic output due to the loss of Medicaid coverage. Leighton Ku, a George Washington University professor said, “More money ends up flowing into the state and helps make sure that hospitals and doctor’s offices have money to pay for their staff”.
Contact: Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, firstname.lastname@example.org