Jun, 23, 2023

States of Unwinding: June 23, 2023

With so much focus on the number of enrollees losing coverage, more states are making their data public and sharing information about the unwinding process. Kansas published call center data for the month of May and Texas posted its operational plan for unwinding. State Health and Value Strategies updated our expert perspective State Reporting to Monitor the Unwinding of the Medicaid Continuous Coverage Requirement to reflect the latest states reporting data publicly. 

States also remain focused on communication and outreach: Arizona updated its frequently asked questions with information about what to do if an enrollee misses their renewal deadline and New York officials took to the radio airwaves to spread the word about Medicaid unwinding. States also continue to partner with other stakeholders to communicate about unwinding, with South Carolina asking providers to encourage enrollees to return their renewal forms. Following the announcement last week of new strategies states can employ to minimize the loss of coverage for procedural reasons, Michigan announced it was leveraging the new federal flexibilities.

Beginning July 1, nine new states will begin disenrolling individuals no longer eligible, including California and New York, which respectively have the first and second largest Medicaid and CHIP populations in the country. As a reminder, SHVS has created a one-stop resource page to support states as they plan for and implement unwinding.  

Medicaid Communication and Outreach Efforts

Arizona updated its frequently asked questions with information about what to do if an enrollee misses their renewal deadline. The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System added a question to its frequently asked questions (FAQs) highlighting for enrollees that have lost coverage because they did not return their renewal form that they have 90 days to respond. AHCCCS is highlighting that those who lost coverage for this reason should not submit a new application. 

Minnesota is making information about when enrollees will be sent renewal forms available online. Minnesotans enrolled in Medicaid and the state’s Basic Health Program can now look up the month they can expect their health insurance renewal forms to arrive in the mail at mn.gov/dhs/renewmycoverage/. To use the lookup, individuals must enter the case number printed on their notices or premium bills and the member number listed on their Minnesota Health Care Program card. If a person doesn’t know their case or member number, they can call their county or Tribal office.

New York’s Medicaid Director and Executive Director of the Marketplace discussed unwinding on the radio. Amir Bassiri, New York state Medicaid director, and Danielle Holahan, NY State of Health Executive Director, were guests on a New York City public radio talk show discussing the end of the continuous coverage requirement. During the show they also answered listeners’ questions on how to make sure they don’t lose coverage for a procedural reason, and what to do if they no longer qualify for Medicaid.

Wisconsin is encouraging enrollees to submit their renewals on time. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is encouraging Medicaid members to submit their renewals at the “just right” time to avoid delays or gaps in coverage. DHS announced a new renewal status webpage with instructions for Medicaid enrollees to find their renewal month and where they can also sign up for renewal reminders.

Outreach Partnerships With Other Stakeholders

New Jersey community-based organizations are getting the word out about unwinding. Trenton Health Team, a multi-sector partnership that serves the city of Trenton, tweeted reminders about renewing coverage. Their social graphics make a point of clarifying that NJ FamilyCare is the state’s Medicaid program. 

South Carolina is asking providers to encourage Medicaid enrollees to submit their renewal form. The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) issued a bulletin to providers stating that only 30% of Medicaid enrollees returned eligibility review forms that the state sent out as part of the redeterminations process, which began April 1. SCDHHS is seeking providers’ help in encouraging Medicaid-enrolled patients to submit their renewals.

Making Information About Unwinding Public

Kansas published updated call center data. KanCare, the state’s Medicaid program, posted call center data for the month of May and is reporting on two additional indicators: the average speed to answer and the average handle time. The state also published an updated unwinding data snapshot report as of June 6. Kansas’ unwinding data page includes a glossary of terms as well as a section that provides background information about the data being reported. 

Kentucky published updated data on unwinding and presented the data at its stakeholder meeting. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services released a Medicaid renewals snapshot as of June 1, which includes data on the number of passive and active renewals, the number of mailed notices and emails the state has sent, phone calls made to Medicaid members, and the anticipated renewal case counts for each month through April 2024. The state also published the monthly unwinding data report it submitted to CMS. At its June stakeholder meeting, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services presented renewal data through June 12 and qualified health plan enrollment as of June 2. During the meeting officials also discussed the number of enrollees to be renewed in June and July as well as their outreach efforts to those enrollees. The slides and a recording of the June stakeholder meeting are posted on the state’s unwinding website. 

Maryland published data for the first round of Medicaid renewals. The Department of Health announced the initial data for the month of May, which show Maryland Medicaid processed 119,803 renewals. Of these, 76,104 were determined eligible to have their coverage extended; 10,032 were determined to be not eligible based on information provided and were disenrolled; and 24,643 were disenrolled for procedural reasons, such as not updating eligibility information.

Mississippi is publishing the unwinding reports it submitted to CMS. The state posted on its website the unwinding reports it submitted to CMS for the months of April and May. The state began terminating coverage for ineligible enrollees as of June 1. 

Texas posted its unwinding plan. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission published its unwinding of the Medicaid continuous coverage operational plan. The report details efforts the state is undertaking to reduce eligibility workload, expand workforce capacity and reduce client impact. The state also published the report it submitted to CMS for May. 

Leveraging Federal Flexibilities and Improving Processes

Michigan is implementing one of the new strategies announced by CMS to minimize procedural terminations. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced it is taking advantage of new flexibilities released by CMS to preserve Medicaid coverage for enrollees. For enrollees who have a deadline of June 30 to return their renewal forms, MDHHS is delaying terminations by an additional month. MDHHS is implementing this change only for enrollees up for renewal in June and will use the additional month to review and adopt additional strategies authorized by the federal government for outreach to enrollees.