Minnesota has 25 percent of Medicaid eligibility renewals left to complete this year


Hannah Saunders


In May 2023, Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) resumed the renewal process for individuals on the state Medicaid program, or Medical Assistance Program (MA), during the COVID-19 pandemic. So far, over 75 percent of individuals on state Medicaid plans have undergone eligibility renewals. 

John Connolly, assistant commissioner of the Health Care Administration, provided an update to Minnesota’s Senate Committee on Health and Human Services, and said about 1.5 million people in the state will undergo the process. 

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“So far, we have completed 1.13 million of those renewals, so we are over three-quarters of the way through in terms of individuals redetermined eight months in.”

— Connolly

Going into this process after a three-year hiatus due to the public health emergency, Minnesota was focused on three things: maintaining coverage for all eligible enrollees without interruption, complying with federal guidance changes, and minimizing the burden on the workforce. 

“In August, we received revised guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, our federal oversight agency, saying that Minnesota and roughly 30 other states could not redetermine folks or renew folks based on household information, or as a household,” Connolly said. 

This led Minnesota to reexamine its process and redetermine eligibility on an individual basis. 

“If it was determined that there was someone in a household—an individual—and this is usually children, so we went back and kind of reexamined who lost coverage as a result of household redeterminations, and if we had data about individuals—again, mostly children—indicating they were in fact eligible for the program, we went back and reinstated their coverage,” Connolly said. 

This resulted in reinstating MA coverage for 12,508 individuals, who were mostly children. Procedural terminations were also paused for the October, November, and December cohorts in order for the state to conduct additional outreach, focusing on groups that are inequitably represented in procedural terminations. 

Procedural terminations can occur if individuals experience challenges filling out redetermination information packets, like a language barrier. This allowed the state to obtain accurate information and maximize the number of individuals eligible for coverage. 

Coverage will also be extended for January 2024 cohorts and beyond, according to Connolly.

“We will extend coverage for a year automatically for the entire household to maximize the continuity of coverage for people who are eligible.”

— Connolly

This year’s coverage extensions will be in effect until permanent system upgrades are in place to determine eligibility on an individual basis. 

“We anticipate those changes being in place for the cohorts in the upcoming renewal cycle, beginning in July,” Connolly said. 

As of the Feb. 12th meeting, 824,000 Minnesotans maintained Medicaid coverage.  A total of 288,000 were disenrolled, with 203,000 being disenrolled due to procedural terminations. 

DHS intends to make improvements to increase electronic capabilities—in addition to mailing the packets in—like uploading eligibility paperwork online, and allowing individuals to fax their paperwork and drop it off in person. The department has also added a new online tool that members can access online to review their renewals dates. 

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