Now that the Medicaid continuous coverage provision has come to an end and redeterminations have resumed, states are now faced with the daunting administrative undertaking of checking whether all the 93 million people on Medicaid still qualify for coverage. While all states are required to complete the redetermination process within the next 14 months, states are taking different approaches to how they will verify information, how they will inform enrollees of changes to their coverage, and how much time they will take to redetermine eligibility. According to a recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, about half of the states began telling people they would have to reapply for the Medicaid program before the April 1 deadline. Enrollees in those states who no longer qualify for the program will lose their coverage this month. People in the other half of states who have waited to tell people about the reenrollment process aren’t expected to lose coverage until June.
This week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy released his plan for raising the debt ceiling, and it includes cuts to Medicaid, as well as work requirements for the program. While Medicaid has traditionally been seen as a safer target for proposed cuts than Medicare or Social Security, the rapid growth of the program over the last decade has made it an increasingly popular social safety net. The proposed measure would require Medicaid recipients to work 80 hours per month, with an exception for people with dependent children, those under 19 or over 56 years old, and those enrolled in an educational program. Republicans have dubbed the work requirement proposal a “community engagement” requirement. According to estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, requiring work for Medicaid benefits would cut the programs spending by $135 billion over 10 years, with more than two million individuals losing coverage because they fail to meet the work requirement.