In March 2023 a policy implemented at the start of the COVID19 public health emergency, which kept Minnesotans’ health coverage under Medicaid in place, ended. This requires about 1.5 million Minnesotans to renew their Medicaid coverage
, and estimates are that roughly 260,000 people could lose their health care coverag
In March 2020, federal public health emergency provisions required states to implement “continuous eligibility”, which protected health care coverage during the pandemic for folks covered through Medicaid, also known as Medical Assistance (MA) in Minnesota. This was an important part of making sure Minnesotans had access to affordable health care during the public health emergency. Overall in the pandemic, an additional 360,000 Minnesotans were able to secure the affordable health care they needed through Medicaid.
Now the time has come for people to renew their Medicaid coverage, which involves filling in paperwork about their incomes and family size in order to demonstrate that they still meet the requirements to qualify. National figures estimate that 18 percent of Minnesotans currently covered by Medicaid (260,000 people)
could lose health care coverage in the coming year during this process. Folks could see their coverage end because they no longer qualify, but a concerning amount of people will likely lose coverage while still qualifying. They could lose their coverage because of challenges navigating the system and paperwork errors such as they did not receive notices that they needed to renew their coverage, failure to return paperwork, or paperwork getting lost. Of those who lose coverage, 30 to 50 percent are likely to reenroll within a short period of time.
This process of disenrolling and reenrolling is called “churn,” and can lead to harmful disruptions in care and worsening health outcomes for those who experience it.
Minnesota has joined other states in implementing this Medicaid renewal process, and is implementing it in stages through monthly groups of people called “cohorts.” The first renewal cohort originally had a due date of July 1 to submit their renewal paperwork. But a concerning amount of people, roughly 35,000 Minnesotans, have not yet turned in paperwork and thus are in danger of losing their health coverage. In an effort to decrease coverage loss, the due date for this group was moved to August 1. Keep up to date on the current status of renewals with Minnesota’s Department of Human Services dashboard
Outreach is critical in reducing loss of health care
The state’s Department of Human Services has launched comprehensive outreach efforts to reach the Minnesotans who need to renew their Medicaid coverage, but community organizations can help share information and resources about Medicaid coverage renewals to make sure our Minnesota neighbors continue to get the health care they and their families count on. People currently enrolled in Medicaid can prepare by looking up when their renewal is scheduled
, updating their address and contact info ahead of time
, and reading up on next steps
they will need to take once they get their renewal information.