In light of recent postal delays and housing displacements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis, and a wave of natural disasters across the country, state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies face new challenges communicating with their enrollees about their health coverage. Acting now to mitigate these challenges is essential as states are preparing for the end of the public health emergency (PHE) and “catching up” on coverage renewals for a large portion of their enrollees. This expert perspective reviews strategies that state Medicaid and CHIP agencies may consider to help mitigate coverage losses.
Understanding the Fiscal Impact of COVID-19, the Economic Downturn, and Recent Policy Changes
On Thursday, June 4, State Health and Value Strategies hosted a webinar during which experts from Manatt Health presented key results from a financial model examining the Medicaid fiscal implications of the interaction between the COVID-19 pandemic, the emerging economic downturn, and recent policy changes.
States and Medicaid programs are entering a time of substantial fiscal uncertainty as they continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while also preparing for a potentially severe recession that is expected to lead to significant budget shortfalls and surges in Medicaid enrollment. At the same time, the federal government has authorized significant policy changes in response to these twin crises, including an increase in the federal Medicaid matching rate and the establishment of maintenance of effort and continuous coverage requirements, which require states to maintain coverage and benefits for any individual enrolled at the start of the federal disaster period. This confluence of factors is likely to have significant fiscal implications for state Medicaid programs. In the coming weeks and months, it will be critical for state budget officials, Medicaid policymakers, and other stakeholders to understand these implications in order to facilitate sound policymaking and resource allocation.
During the webinar, Manatt discussed key considerations for states as they develop their own internal forecasts and plan for the challenging times ahead. This webinar included a question and answer session during which webinar participants can pose their questions to the experts on the line.