As federal officials conclude pandemic emergency measures, approximately 100,000 New Yorkers face losing their health coverage through Medicaid or related programs, according to state records. The number of newly uninsured individuals may rise if some eligible residents fail to renew coverage through programs aimed at supporting low-income communities.
Health officials are now working to assist millions of people in navigating the renewal process, which was suspended during the pandemic but has recently resumed. Renewal reviews will continue until spring 2024, with the first wave of disenrollment providing a clearer picture of newly uninsured New Yorkers in July.
Currently, nearly half of New York’s population, or over 9 million residents, are enrolled in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or the Essential Plan. Since early 2020, enrollees have not been required to renew their coverage due to public health emergency continuous coverage requirements. However, federal legislation enacted in December will terminate these coverage requirements and additional federal funding for Medicaid to prevent disenrollment. Consequently, state officials are now reevaluating the eligibility of those participating in these health programs.
Challenges for the Medicaid renewal effort include language barriers, unstable addresses, and limited internet access. State health officials have initiated outreach efforts over the past year to address these issues, including multilingual ad campaigns, text notifications, and online tools. Experts caution that some eligible New Yorkers may be unnecessarily disenrolled.
Officials estimate that approximately 1.2 million New Yorkers enrolled in Medicaid or related programs during the pandemic have since transitioned to employer-sponsored coverage. An additional 151,000 Medicaid enrollees are expected to switch to related public programs or qualified health plans with federal subsidies to make coverage more affordable. Overall enrollment in Medicaid and associated programs is predicted to decline from nearly 9.5 million to about 8.2 million by March 2024, still above pre-pandemic enrollment of almost 7.6 million.
For more information on Medicaid eligibility reviews and the renewal process, call the state hotline at 1-855-355-5777, or contact local Department of Social Services offices. Additional details can be found on the state Health Department website at health.ny.gov.
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