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“Robert, who lives in Philadelphia, knows signing up for Medicaid can be tricky with his ADHD, so he brought his daughter along to help him fill out the paperwork,” Alan Yu writes over at WHYY. “‘If we miss one little detail, they would reject you,’ says Robert, who has had the government health insurance for people on low incomes in the past. ‘I usually get two applications, so if I mess up on one. I can do the other one.’ This time, with his daughter’s help, the application only took Robert a half hour. (N.P.R. agreed to use Robert’s first name only because he has a medical condition he would like to keep private.) Signing up for Medicaid correctly is about to become an important step for enrollees again after a three-year break from paperwork hurdles. In 2020, the federal government recognized that a pandemic would be a bad time for people to lose access to medical care, so it required states to keep people on Medicaid as long as the country was in a public health emergency. The pandemic continues and so has the public health emergency, most recently renewed on Jan. 11. But the special Medicaid measure known as ‘continuous enrollment’ will end on March 31, 2023, no matter what. It was part of the budget bill Congress passed in Dec. 2022. Even if the public health emergency is renewed in April, states will begin to make people on Medicaid sign up again to renew their coverage. And that means between 5 and 14 million Americans could lose their Medicaid coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the nonpartisan health policy organization. The federal Department of Health and Human Services expects 6.8 million people to lose their coverage even though they are still eligible, based on historical trends looking at paperwork and other administrative hurdles.” Alan Wu, “6.8 million expected to lose Medicaid when paperwork hurdles return,” WHYY.

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...