End of the FFCRA Brings Uncertainty in Medicaid Coverage

The end of the federal public health emergency is quickly approaching and it is bringing an end to the continuous coverage requirement of Medicaid.[0] On April 1, 2023, counties across the United States will begin the process of “unwinding” the Medicaid coverage, meaning they will begin annual renewals for all Medicaid beneficiaries and redetermine their eligibility.[0] If they fail to complete the renewal process or are no longer eligible, coverage will be terminated.[0] This process could affect up to 15 million people across the United States, including an estimated 700,000 people in Illinois.

The Medicaid continuous coverage requirement was brought about by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that was passed in March 2020.[1] This act required states to keep people enrolled in Medicaid programs regardless of any changes in circumstances that might have otherwise made them ineligible.[2]

In addition to those no longer eligible, there are those who will lose coverage due to administrative hurdles and, in some cases, lack of access to other forms of insurance.[3] This is especially true for people of color and children, as research predicts that 64% of Latinos, 50% of Asian Americans/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders and 40% of Black beneficiaries could lose coverage compared to 17% of White enrollees.[4]

In Ohio, nearly 200,000 people may no longer qualify for Medicaid when income reassessments begin in May.[5] This is about 6% of the 3.4 million Ohioans currently receiving Medicaid.[6] If the redetermination process shows they no longer qualify, likely due to an increase in income, they will be provided with alternative options such as a federally subsidized health plan.[7]

Washington State will also be returning to regular operations come April 1, with an estimated 300,000 people needing to renew their eligibility for Medicaid coverage.[8]

The end of the continuous coverage Medicaid requirement could have a huge impact on people across the country, and the state and federal governments are working to ensure that those affected can find other forms of health insurance to maintain coverage.

0. “Due to Federal “Unwinding”… Millions of Californians Could Lose Medicaid/Medi-Cal Health Coverage” Black Voice News, 10 Feb. 2023, https://blackvoicenews.com/2023/02/10/millions-of-californians-could-lose-medicaid-medi-cal-health-coverage-due-to-federal-unwinding/

1. “Healthcare for millions of Latinos in danger as pandemic-era medicaid provisions expire in April” AL DIA News, 9 Feb. 2023, https://aldianews.com/en/politics/policy/medicaid-unwinding

2. “Thousands in Connecticut are expected to lose Medicaid coverage unless they act soon” Connecticut Public, 7 Feb. 2023, https://www.ctpublic.org/news/2023-02-07/thousands-in-connecticut-are-expected-to-lose-medicaid-coverage-unless-they-act-soon

3. “Impending Medicaid changes could leave hundreds of thousands uninsured” Danville Commercial News, 10 Feb. 2023, https://www.commercial-news.com/news/state_news/impending-medicaid-changes-could-leave-hundreds-of-thousands-uninsured/article_9a9445fe-a994-11ed-aadf-2f1f7bfa8e2f.html

4. “Avoiding the Great ‘Unwinding' – 15 Million People at Risk of Losing Medicaid” Siliconeer – World's First South Asian Digital Daily, 9 Feb. 2023, https://siliconeer.com/current/avoiding-unwinding-15-million-risk-medicaid/

5. “End of SNAP pandemic boost has advocates for low-income Ohioans worried” WOSU Public Media, 10 Feb. 2023, https://news.wosu.org/2023-02-10/end-of-snap-pandemic-boost-has-advocates-for-low-income-ohioans-worried

6. “End of SNAP boost worries advocates for Ohioans” WOUB, 10 Feb. 2023, https://woub.org/2023/02/10/snap-pandemic-boost-ending

7. “DHHS sends letters over Medicaid access” Concord Monitor, 7 Feb. 2023, https://www.concordmonitor.com/With-72-500-at-risk-of-losing-Medicaid-DHHS-moves-from-friendly-to-urgent–contact-us–letters-49843530

8. “WA residents soon must apply to keep Medicaid coverage. Expert shares advice for preparing” AOL, 9 Feb. 2023, https://www.aol.com/wa-residents-soon-must-apply-213906789.html