Last month, Maryland’s Department of Health (MDH) and HealthChoice Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) launched a public awareness campaign to make sure Medicaid enrollees in Maryland are aware that their health insurance will no longer auto-renew starting in April.
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The campaign is called the Medicaid Check-In and is aimed at Medicaid beneficiaries to make sure their coverage continues after the end of the PHE’s continuous coverage period. The multi-media advertising campaign has published information for Marylanders through television, radio, social media, and on local transits.
“The Medicaid Check-In campaign is meant to reach Marylanders wherever they are so they know changes are coming. Maryland Medicaid officials are focused on ensuring that eligible individuals do not lose coverage when it is time for their renewal,” MDH Secretary Laura Herrera Scott said.
“We urge Marylanders to make sure Maryland Health Connection has their current mailing address, phone number, email, or other contact information. We don’t want anyone to miss out on important health coverage information or have a gap in coverage.”
In a previous press release, MDH stated that starting in April, beneficiaries will have to start renewing their coverage as it will no longer auto-renew. Beneficiaries will have to start renewing their coverage because the federal government ended the state agency requirement to continuously cover Medicaid beneficiaries while under the Public Health Emergency (PHE).
During the federal COVID-19 PHE, Congress enacted the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that prohibited state Medicaid agencies from disenrolling individuals who were otherwise determined ineligible for Medicaid. At the end of 2022, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, which requires the PHE’s continuous enrollment provision to end on March 31st—which is separate from the general PHE end date on May 11th.
States must complete renewals and other eligibility actions within 14 months after the beginning of the unwinding period starting in April, and states are allowed to determine how to prioritize their unwinding plans based on the state’s needs.
States are taking varying approaches to their unwinding process including conducting redeterminations based on an individual’s time on Medicaid (redetermining eligibility for the longest-covered beneficiaries first), using a population-based approach by redetermining the eligibility of populations the state believes are no longer eligible first, or pursuing a hybrid approach.
MDH decided to take a hybrid approach to its unwinding process, which will take place monthly starting next month. MDH said beneficiaries should start seeing renewal notices soon indicating that they are up for redetermination.
MDH is asking Medicaid beneficiaries to make sure their contact information is up to date either online, by phone, or in person by going to either MarylandHealthConnection.gov, calling MCH at (855) 642-8572, or visiting their local health department.
“If your mailing address, email address or phone number changed, don’t delay in updating your contact information,” Scott said. “It’s the only way to ensure that we get important updates and coverage information to you.”
The department is asking beneficiaries to complete and return their renewal notices—if they receive a renewal notice—by their due date so they do not lose coverage if they are still eligible. If individuals lose coverage, they will have up to 60 days to enroll in a new plan on Maryland Health Connection.