How to Avoid a Gap in Your Medicaid Coverage
Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides health insurance to more than 91 million residents with low incomes across the nation. This means nearly 1 in 4 people are enrolled in one of these programs, making it likely that you or someone you know gets their health care coverage through one of these programs.
Unsurprisingly, Medicaid enrollment soared during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Until now, the federal government has prohibited states from terminating anyone’s Medicaid and CHIP coverage. However, this provision is ending soon. Beginning April 1, states will be able to restart the process of making sure everyone enrolled in these programs are still eligible. You may hear others refer to this as the Medicaid “unwinding.” We know no one wants to find themselves uninsured for any period of time.
Here’s what you can do to get ready to renew your Medicaid or CHIP coverage:
- Update your contact information – Make sure your state Medicaid office has your current mailing address, phone number, email, or other contact information so that they can contact you about your coverage. You can find contact information for your state’s Medicaid program here.
- Check your mail – Your state will mail you a letter that lets you know if you need to complete a renewal form to see if you still qualify for Medicaid or CHIP coverage.
- Complete your renewal form (if you get one) – If your state sends you a renewal form, fill it out and return it as soon as possible to prevent having a gap in your health insurance coverage.
- Share this information with your loved ones – Make sure your friends and family are aware of this change and help them get ready.
If you are no longer eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, you still have options to get health coverage. You may be eligible for a marketplace plan that covers things such as prescription drugs (including birth control), doctor visits, urgent care, hospital visits, and more. The federal government notes that as many as 4 out of 5 enrollees can find plans that cost less than $10 a month! See this helpful checklist of the documents you will need to sign up and then visit healthcare.gov to find a plan and get covered!