If the trend continues, more than 100,000 people who had Idaho Medicaid this spring would lose health coverage — unless they get private health insurance, try to re-enroll in Medicaid or obtain coverage some other way. (Getty Images)
More than 87,000 Idahoans – so far – are being removed from Medicaid coverage after expanded coverage from the pandemic has lapsed.
A little more than half of Medicaid recipients who lost coverage — 48,857 — were removed because the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare either could not contact them or the Medicaid enrollees didn’t give the agency the information to prove their eligibility, department spokesperson Greg Stahl told the Idaho Capital Sun in an email. Another 38,682 people removed from Medicaid were determined ineligible, Stahl said, while 27,537 were deemed eligible.
The figures, released last week by the Department of Health and Welfare, show about 76% of Medicaid recipients who state officials reviewed will no longer have access to the program offering free health insurance.
States were largely barred from removing people from Medicaid during the pandemic. Idaho and other states began reviewing and removing ineligible Medicaid recipients this April after a new federal law removed the exemption.
State regulators have reviewed the eligibility of about 115,000 patients, leaving at least 39,000 more applicants to be reviewed before the entire Medicaid population’s eligibility is reviewed. New numbers are expected today.
How you’ll know if you’re being removed from Idaho Medicaid
The Department of Health and Welfare is sending notices to people disenrolled from Medicaid. If the notices contain incorrect information about you or your household, contact the Department of Health and Welfare to redetermine your Medicaid eligibility.
About 450,000 Idahoans are enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan.
Stahl said the agency is wrapping up sending pink colored notices in the mail requesting their eligibility information this month.
Medicaid recipients can check idalink.idaho.gov, a website for assistance programs, to access their current status and notices, Stahl said.
Idaho Medicaid members who receive a notice have 60 days to reply before being disenrolled. The Department of Health and Welfare began disenrolling members who did not respond to notices in June, Director Dave Jeppesen said in a blog post late last month.
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How to get health insurance
People disenrolled from Medicaid should receive information on how to enroll in insurance on the state’s health insurance exchange, called Your Health Idaho, where Idahoans can enroll and access tax credits based on their income levels.
Idaho Medicaid is open to adults who earn less than 138% of the federal poverty limit — which is $20,120 a year for a single person. Eligible people can re-enroll at any time. Low income children are also eligible for Medicaid, as are children with disabilities and behavioral health needs.
Over half of Idahoans who are on Medicaid are children, said Christine Tiddens, director of Idaho Voices for Children.
“There’s still a lot of confusion in families across the state on what’s happening with Medicaid and Medicaid enrollment,” Tiddens said. “We’re concerned that children specifically are slipping through the cracks and losing health coverage, even if they’re still eligible for the program.”
To enroll now, people must enroll in a policy at Your Health Idaho 60 days before losing coverage from Medicaid or 90 days after losing Medicaid, or prove that they had another reason to change their health insurance plan, like getting married, having a child, getting divorced or losing health insurance, which insurance companies commonly call qualifying life events.
Insurance on Your Health Idaho allows people earning moderate to low incomes to qualify for tax subsidies to reduce the amount they pay toward health insurance. Visit yourhealthidaho.org or call 855-944-3246 to learn more, or check out its pre-eligibility calculator, where you can enter your information to learn how much money you can save on insurance.
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