Why Mississippi is removing 29,000 people from Medicaid
Thousands could see their health insurance taken away as Mississippi removes nearly 30,000 Medicaid recipients from the program.
In 2019, thirteen percent of Mississipp’s population was living without access to healthcare, following only Texas (18.4 percent), Oklahoma (14.3 percent), Georgia (13.3 percent), and Florida (13.2 percent). In terms of life expectancy, Mississippi, at 74.4 years, recorded the had the lowest in the country.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, enrollment in Medicaid increased by twenty-five percent, thanks to federal grants that expanded access to the program during the Covid-19 pandemic. This support from Washington, DC, helped the rate of those without access to healthcare to fall to under twelve percent by 2021.
Now that the pandemic emergency has been lifted, Mississippi has removed 29,000 Medicaid recipients —a figure that represents around forty-seven percent of all those that were enrolled during the pandemic, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. However, over 32,000 recipients have had their cases reviewed and will continue to receive health insurance through Medicaid.
How will Medicaid renewable eligibility be evaluated in Mississippi?
The state asks that Medicaid members use the following survey to update their contact information if there have been any changes since they enrolled. One can also call the Mississippi Department of Medicaid at 1-800-421-2408 or 601-359-6050. To simplify the renewal process, the state has said that they “will first try to renew your benefits by looking at electronic verification sources.” Should the department have what it needs to approve the renewal, it will mail those eligible a renewal form that must be filled out and returned within thirty days.
In December, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), which lifted the prohibition on disenrolling Medicaid members that had been approved in March 2020. As a result, millions of people who had been able to enroll in Medicaid will see their coverage lost.
Across the country, the KFF has tracked around 2.1 million dis-enrollments since the ban was lifted in late March. Of the total, around a third were children, leaving the nation’s youngest in an extremely vulnerable position.
States that have seen the highest number of dis-enrollments include Florida, where the figure has surpassed 300,000, Arkansas, and Arizona, where the figure has reached over 200,000 residents.