Protecting Medicaid Coverage for Millions of Students: How School Medicaid Directors Can Help
School Medicaid directors have an important role to play in supporting families to maintain their Medicaid coverage. There is a significant change happening in healthcare coverage that will affect millions of students across the country who rely on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for their health insurance.
Since the start of the Public Health Emergency in March 2020, families enrolled in Medicaid have not been required to complete renewal paperwork to stay covered. However, starting on April 1, 2023, this continuous coverage protection will lift, and states will resume reviewing eligibility for all people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP to ensure they still qualify. During this process, known as the “unwinding,” it is estimated that 6.7 million children will lose their Medicaid coverage, despite the majority of them continuing to be eligible for either Medicaid or CHIP.
Your Action Plan: Supporting Families through Unwinding in Two Easy Steps
To reduce the loss of health coverage, it is crucial that parents act quickly to confirm or update their contact information with the State Medicaid agency and provide the necessary information to complete their Medicaid renewal when notified. Families could receive renewal paperwork at any point this year or early next year.
Schools and district administrators can play a critical role in protecting children’s health coverage by ensuring families are aware of these Medicaid changes.
The first step for families is to ensure that their state Medicaid agency has the correct contact information for every member of their family on Medicaid, so they receive their renewal notices when the time comes. If families do not receive the notice, they may not realize their child has been disenrolled from coverage and is uninsured until it is too late.
The second step is for families to quickly fill out the paperwork and return it should they get a notification.
If something goes wrong, and their child loses coverage, parents need to quickly reach out to a navigator or enrollment assistor to see if they can re-enroll in Medicaid or to check if they qualify for subsidized coverage through the ACA Marketplace.
So, What Comes Next?
If you are a school Medicaid director looking for resources to support families in maintaining their Medicaid coverage, then the “Unwinding Comms Toolkit” is an excellent resource for you.
This toolkit, available for download on the Medicaid website, includes a range of communication materials such as backpack fliers, newsletter blurbs, robocall scripts, and social media posts that you can use to inform families about the upcoming changes to Medicaid coverage.
With the help of this toolkit, you can ensure that families in your district are aware of the renewal process and have the necessary information to complete their renewals on time, thus reducing the risk of losing their Medicaid coverage.
The unwinding of the Medicaid “continuous coverage” policy will be an unprecedented undertaking for the State Medicaid agency and families to ensure that children stay connected with their health coverage.
Schools are a central access point for students to be connected to necessary health services, and it is critical to keep children connected to health coverage to receive necessary care.
As a school Medicaid director, you can help families maintain their Medicaid coverage by ensuring they are aware of these changes and have the necessary information to complete their renewals. The American Association of School Administrators toolkit can also be a helpful resource to communicate with families and keep them informed. By working together, we can ensure that our students have access to the care they need and maintain their health coverage.
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