Michigan health leaders are taking needed steps to ensure residents are retaining their coverage as Medicaid redeterminations continue.
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Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) Health Center Operations Officer Anne Scott discussed the state’s redetermination progress during the MPCA’s August update as the state moves through its third month of renewals.
“We have data available from our first cohort. Those are folks that had a renewal date set for June. For that group, that cohort was about 215,000 people. The good news is about 48 percent of that cohort was able to successfully retain their Medicaid or (Children’s Health Insurance Program) [coverage].
Scott said 32 percent of that cohort were able to renew through an ex parte process.
“The individual was able to be renewed without having to take any action steps, with data that was already available in the system for them,” she said. “About 14 percent of the cohort was able to complete a renewal packet or complete their renewal and retain their coverage through that approach.”
About 52 percent of that cohort either lost coverage or were at risk of losing coverage by the end of June, Scott said.
“Only about five percent of folks from that June cohort lost coverage due to eligibility or some type of procedural reason, meaning that individual took some sort of action step, and was deemed ineligible or (was) procedurally ineligible for Medicaid.”
About 46 percent (over 100,000 people) of the June cohort did not take any action at all, meaning they did not complete a renewal package or respond to outreach attempts, Scott said.
“So basically the state got nothing back from those individuals, and those were folks who could have lost coverage as of June 30th, per the schedule that was initially established by the state for loss of coverage,” she said. “If those folks had not taken any action by the end of June, they would have lost coverage June 30th. However, the good news is the state did take some action to mitigate that.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services extended the last day of coverage for the June cohort to July 31st in order to help prevent them from losing coverage, Scott said.
“And just the other week, they announced they are now going to do that for every cohort moving forward. They have updated their eligibility notification timeline to reflect that. For instance, for people who had a renewal date in July, if they have not provided information or have not completed or responded to a packet by July 31st, they will continue to retain their coverage all the way through Aug. 31st. If they have not taken any action at that point, they are at risk to lose their coverage due to non-response.”
Michiganders who need to renew their coverage can complete renewal packets they receive in the mail, or complete a renewal form electronically at MI Bridges. There is also a phone renewal helpline available at 833-599-6444.
“They can work through renewal over the phone,” Scott said. “We have heard that line can be pretty busy and pretty backed up, so I wouldn’t send people there necessarily as a first thing. If they can get their packet done or do it in MI Bridges, that might be the most efficient for them to get that process complete.
The numbers we saw in June indicated that people were either not aware, not clear, or needed assistance to move through the process. I would not encourage people to wait until the last minute. We want people to take action as soon as they possibly can.”