Florida leads 22 states with nearly 303,000 losing their Medicaid coverage



(The Center Square) — According to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than one million people have lost their Medicaid coverage nationally and Florida had the most who are no longer eligible for benefits.

According to data from KFF — a nonprofit that focuses on health policy and conducts its research and polling — at least 1.35 million people, spread across 22 states, lost their Medicaid coverage as of Tuesday based on the latest available data.

Florida had the most recipients lose eligibility for the Medicaid program with nearly 303,000 people losing their benefits. Second was Arizona with 149,000 people disenrolled, according to the KFF Medicaid Enrollment and Unwinding Tracker.

The reason was the redetermination process that resumed on March 31 after the COVID-19 pandemic emergency rules ended. These rules expanded the eligibility to receive Medicaid benefits. States are required to check the eligibility of recipients annually, a mandate sidelined by COVID-19 emergency rules.

The tracker shows that Florida recipients began losing their coverage in May, while enrollment in Medicaid declined by 234,646 people between April and May. A total of 583,929 enrollees had renewed their coverage by May 2023, however, 302,556 people were disenrolled.

Most of those who found themselves suddenly without Medicaid coverage in Florida — 197,367 people — lost their coverage for procedural reasons. This comprised 65% of the total number disenrolled, while the other 35% (105,189 beneficiaries) lost coverage due to ineligibility.

Medicaid recipients who lost their coverage in the 22 reporting states vary greatly, with some states now finding enrollees ineligible for continued coverage that was maintained due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as is the case in Idaho, which had a disenrollment rate of 73%.

According to a national survey conducted by KFF with Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, the lowest Medicaid disenrollment rates around the U.S. come from states that rely on renewals through ex parte (one-sided) processes. This reduces administrative burdens on the state and the enrollee while streamlining the renewal process.

The KFF tracker noted that while Florida’s renewal process was mostly automated, and the state would complete all renewals within 12 to 14 months, less than 50% of renewals were done on an ex parte basis, and the state was not taking any steps towards improving it, partly explaining the state’s high disenrollment rate.

Florida has also not adopted Medicaid expansion, nor has it adopted 12-month continuous eligibility for all children in Medicaid and CHIP, according to the tracker. However, 12-month postpartum coverage has been adopted.

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