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Kids losing Medicaid in Ohio at higher rate

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(The Center Square) – The federal government wants Ohio to stop Medicaid disenrollment for children for a year after nearly 90,000 lost coverage in the state since the spring.

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Zavier Becerra sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine recently telling him enrollment in the children’s Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program fell by 86,053 children or 6% compared to March 2023.

That ranks Ohio in the top five states for the highest disenrollment of children.

States began reexamining Medicaid enrollment in the spring following years of pause brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because all children deserve to have access to comprehensive health coverage, I urge you to ensure that no child in your state who still meets eligibility criteria for Medicaid or CHIP loses their health coverage due to “red tape” or other avoidable reasons as all states “unwind” from the Medicaid continuous enrollment provision that was in place during much of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This is especially important for communities of color and underserved communities across the country,” Becerra wrote.

The letter also asked DeWine to stop disenrollments for 12 months and work with the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services to develop policies that keep children enrolled.

State Rep. Beth Liston, D-Dubin, followed Becerra’s letter with one of her own, urging DeWine to act.

“We cannot let any more kids suffer and lose healthcare due to red tape. Our children and our families deserve better,” Liston said.

Liston asked DeWine to follow HHS’s request and stop disenrollment.

DeWine has yet to respond to either letter publicly.

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