It’s time for annual Medicaid renewal in Missouri. Here’s what you need to know
If you need help with choosing your plan or completing the process for renewals, you can go to showmecoverage.org to find nearby resources (Getty Images).
At the beginning of this month, the annual renewal began for Medicaid recipients.
It sounds simple enough but prompts many questions, depending on how closely you have been watching the situation.
How will that affect people on Medicaid? Why weren’t annual renewals being done? How do we get ahead of this and make sure the people who need this coverage aren’t affected? Why are people concerned they will lose coverage if they meet the eligibility guidelines? Is everyone going to lose their coverage at once?
The good news is, the state has a plan — and there are steps you can take to be ready.
In many cases, the biggest impact on Medicaid recipients will be filling out paperwork and submitting documentation to prove their eligibility. This annual process used to be routine and expected. However, at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, the federal government declared a public health emergency that–among many other things — temporarily suspended this process and provided continuous coverage for anyone who was on or joined Medicaid nationwide since the start of that public health emergency.
This meant that no one had to complete paperwork to maintain their coverage. Now, since the public health emergency is ending, it’s time to restart annual renewals — but people may feel a little rusty on the details.
For some people, nothing will happen– if the Family Support Division can determine through recent interactions that you’re eligible, you will be automatically renewed without contact. For cases where they need more information, the renewal process will be initiated by a letter to Medicaid recipients. No big deal…as long as you haven’t moved in the last three years. As we know, however, a LOT of people have moved at least once in that time.
How do you make sure the letter gets to you, not that bad address?
Luckily, that part couldn’t be more simple. You just go to dss.mo.gov or call (853)-373-4636 to update your contact information. The Family Support Division will be sending these letters out on a rolling basis based on the month you originally signed up for Medicaid, so it won’t all happen at once. For example, in May they will send out letters for renewals due in June.
Don’t wait though — update your information now before it slips your mind. It only takes a few minutes and can give you peace of mind.
If your employment has changed and you’re making a little more money, you may fall into the new expansion population and they’ll let you know. Or, it’s possible that you’re no longer eligible for Medicaid — but that doesn’t mean you’ll be uninsured. Be sure to head over to healthcare.gov to see which plan options you qualify for through the ACA Marketplace.
The whole process can feel a bit daunting, but there are great, local experts across the state ready to help you navigate it all. If you need help with choosing your plan or completing the process for renewals, you can go to showmecoverage.org to find nearby resources. This is a huge asset for our rural areas especially, where accessing care can be more challenging. Finding a local navigator is important, so tell your friends and neighbors about this great resource. The help doesn’t cost you anything and can really help take some of the stress out of the process.
Some estimates put the number of Medicaid patients nationwide that could lose care as high as 18 million, or nearly one in five. But it’s not inevitable.
Help us spread the word, get proactive about your care now, and you’ll be covered later.
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