The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will hold a webinar from 9-10 a.m. PST Wednesday, May 25, on Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Enrollment Unwinding. This will be the first of a monthly partner education series addressing the topic. The presenters will share information on the actions that will be required to ensure that Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) recipients understand the steps that they will need to take to continue Medicaid enrollment if eligible, and to be able to access other coverage if not, when the COVID health emergency ends. Registration is available online. Please send questions to PARTNERSHIP@cms.hhs.gov.
In March 202, CMS temporarily waived certain Medicaid and CHIP requirements and conditions. The easing of these rules helped prevent patients accessing these services from losing health coverage during the pandemic. However, state will soon be required to start Medicaid and CHIP eligibility reviews. According to some estimates, when states resume these reviews, up to 15 million people could lose their current Medicaid or CHIP coverage through a process called “unwinding.”
In an effort to minimize the number of people that lose Medicaid or CHIP coverage, CMS is working with states and other stakeholders to inform people about renewing their coverage and exploring other available health insurance options if they no longer qualify for Medicaid or CHIP. CMS views Medicaid and CHIP continuous enrollment unwinding as 2 phases:
- Phase 1: Prepare for the renewal process and educate Medicaid and CHIP enrollees about the upcoming changes. (HAPPENING NOW)
- Phase 2: Ensure Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries take the necessary steps to renew coverage, and transition to other coverage if they’re no longer eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.
The Biden-Harris Administration has committed to provide states 60 days of notice before any planned expiration or termination of the Public Health Emergency. As of May 15, 2022, no notice has been issued indicating when the emergency declaration will end. In line with that commitment, CMS will communicate regularly with partners to support planning and coordination during the unwinding process to help ensure people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP maintain a source of health care coverage. (Taya Briley)