With 3.8 million Americans set to lose pandemic-era Medicaid coverage, the Biden administration reached out to companies on Thursday to beg that they keep their employees insured.
During the pandemic, the government paused Medicaid terminations until March 31, 2023. Now, four months later, state Medicaid agencies are returning to regular operations, renewing coverage for those who are eligible, while terminating it for those who no longer qualify.
The roughly 3.8 million Americans this would affect will need to seek alternative coverage, which Democrats think should fall to employers.
"The Biden-Harris Administration is calling on employers and other plan sponsors to ensure that employees and their families remain connected to coverage, including through extending the period for special enrollment under the group health plans they sponsor," wrote Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in a Thursday letter sent to employers.
Medicaid is a health insurance program designed to provide coverage for lower-income individuals. While the program receives significant financial support from the federal government, it is primarily administered by individual states.
Companies are required to provide their employees with a minimum of 60 days to enroll in their group health plans. However, Ms. Brooks-LaSure said that this timeframe is insufficient considering the significant number of individuals who have recently lost Medicaid coverage. -Epoch Times
"Given the exceptional circumstances surrounding the resumption of Medicaid and CHIP renewals for the first time in three years, many individuals will need more than the typical 60-day window after loss of Medicaid or CHIP coverage to apply for and enroll in other coverage," wrote Brooks-LaSure.
According to the nonprofit KFF, more than 3 million people from 33 states lost Medicaid coverage in April, which occurred when those Covid-19 protections expired.
In March 2023, Medicaid coverage surged to a historic high of more than 93 million Americans, after Congress barred states from disenrolling people during the pandemic starting in March 2020.
As states phase out the continuous enrollment provision over the next 12 months, they will reassess who qualifies.