John Connolly, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, was the Closing Keynote at the 2023 Minnesota State of Reform Health Policy Conference. Connolly spoke on the state’s Medicaid redetermination process and ways the department is advancing equity for youth.
About 1.5 Minnesotans are on Minnesota Health Care Programs, or one in four residents in the state. Minnesota saw a 360,000 (thirty percent) increase in members since the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Initially during the resumption of the Medicaid eligibility process, Minnesota was verifying eligibility on a household basis.
“We’ve had to shift the mitigation plan to reinstating coverage for folks who may have lost it when we were redetermining based on households now shifting to, per CMS guidance, shifting to individuals and renewing coverage with some extensions for the late fall cohorts this winter.”— Connolly
Connolly noted important upcoming policy changes that will make improvements to healthcare equity for youth in the state.
“Continuous eligibility for kids zero to six, and then 72 months of continuous eligibility up to age 20 is coming as well. That’s important to prevent costly and unnecessary disruptions in care,” Connolly said. “That’s going to benefit 600,000 kids in Minnesota, and we provide coverage for a majority of Black kids in the state, for a majority of American Indian kids in the state, and a majority of Latino kids in the state, so this is really important, I think, as an equity step forward.”