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43K have lost Medicaid in West Virginia redetermination process

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(The Center Square) – West Virginia has just more than 619,000 Medicaid enrollees in June, down from a high of 667,000 in April.

That drop is part of a redetermination process that began March 31 after the COVID-19 pandemic emergency rules completed.

Since the rules have been reinstated, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports that nearly 1.3 million people in 22 states have lost Medicaid eligibility. That is down from a peak of 100 million Medicaid enrollees nationwide, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability.

In West Virginia, nearly 43,000 have lost coverage through redetermination, which is the process of the state’s annual required check of eligibility that was halted during the COVID-19 emergency. That redetermination pause lasted from March 2020 to March 31 of this year.

Of those who lost coverage in West Virginia, 13% applied again and were determined ineligible while 87% lost coverage due to procedural disenrollment after the state could not determine the person was still eligible, according to KFF.

West Virginia has 472,000 on managed care plans, with 26,000 on Mountain Health Promise and 121,000 utilizing its fee for service program.

“I am deeply concerned about eligible losing coverage, and am urging states and partners to adopt the strategies we have outlined to help people renew their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan coverage if they are eligible or link them to new health coverage,” said U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “We will continue to monitor and work collaboratively with states, advocates, the health care industry and others to keep people covered.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced new rules to prevent those who still qualify for Medicaid from losing services, including allowing managed care plans to help complete portions of renewal forms and allowing pharmacies and community organizations to help with reinstatement for those recently disenrolled.

“Nobody who is eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program should lose coverage simply because they changed addresses, didn’t receive a form, or didn’t have enough information about the renewal process,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We encourage states to utilize all available flexibilities to ensure children and families don’t lose coverage. We also urge states to join us in partnering with local governments, community organizations, and schools to reach people eligible for Medicaid and CHIP where they are.”

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