(ConservativeSense.com) – The Biden administration has a cunning new plan to get more families enrolled in Medicaid. On Monday, letters sent to the governors of Texas, South Dakota, Ohio, New Hampshire, Montana, Idaho, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas explained how the Department of Health and Human Services wants states with the highest rates of children being dropped from Medicaid to use a number of federal rules to make it easier to get families enrolled with the government-funded healthcare system.
In the letters, HHS Secretary Xavier Beccera described a number of federal rules that are available to governors, including allowing states to use enrollee information already on their systems to automatically renew applicants. Under the plan, those who already qualify for Medicaid would not need to re-enroll and would therefore remain on the plan even without reconfirming their desire—or eligibility—to remain on it.
Also on Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidance for states that gives them the ability to extend the deadline for children to enroll in Medicaid by an additional year. The rule is expected to remain in place through 2024.
As well as offering new guidance, HHS secretary Beccera also requested that state governors take steps themselves to make it easier for children to enroll in new healthcare plans once they are no longer eligible for Medicaid and to reduce call center times to prevent people from missing deadlines.
In a statement, Beccera stressed the importance of children having access to medical care and urged governors to ensure that there is “no child” in each state who is eligible for Medicaid or CHIP who loses their health coverage as a result of an avoidable error.
Beccera also noted that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic still plays a part in families failing to enroll children in Medicaid coverage.
While Democrat-run states are likely to go with the plans, Republican governors have already hit out at the suggestion that states still need special measures to continue the “winding down” from the COVID-19 pandemic. Florida’s deputy chief of staff for its Department of Children and Families responded to the plan in an email, describing how a simple “reminder that the Medicaid redetermination process is going back into place was sufficient.
The matter of eligible children not being enrolled in Medicaid or other government-backed programs dates back way beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, with several studies and reports dating back to the 1990s describing the problem.
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