Today, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid (DOM) will submit figures to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reflecting the first month of eligibility renewals that have been initiated as part of a yearlong, federally mandated effort for state Medicaid programs to restore regular eligibility operations following the end of the continuous coverage provision that was in effect during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE).
This federal requirement during the PHE prevented DOM from removing most ineligible individuals from Medicaid beginning in March of 2020. DOM resumed eligibility determinations on April 1, 2023, in compliance with the requirements of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in December.
In April, DOM initiated reviews for 67,695 beneficiaries with June renewal months. Approximately 56% of the beneficiaries in the June review month retained coverage. Of the more than 29,000 who were disenrolled, at least 60% were individuals whose coverage had previously been extended because of the special eligibility rules during the PHE.
Due to the federal PHE, Mississippi Medicaid enrollment increased by 187,894 individuals, or 26%, from 716,896 in March 2020 to 904,590 in June 2023 (monthly enrollment numbers reflect the total number of beneficiaries covered that month and do not reflect disenrollments that occur at the end of each month).
Total enrollment is expected to continue to decline as redeterminations continue, and monthly numbers will be reported to CMS during this process.
Medicaid beneficiaries who believe they have been disenrolled in error may appeal the determination. If individuals were disenrolled because they did not respond or provide requested information, they can provide the information now and, if eligible, have their coverage reinstated. Additional information is available at https://medicaid.ms.gov/staycovered/.
Individuals who no longer qualify for Medicaid can access health care through other avenues, including employer-based insurance or on the federal health care marketplace. Information on marketplace plans is available at https://www.healthcare.gov/.
To raise awareness about redeterminations and the importance for members to update their contact information, DOM launched a Stay Covered campaign in January and invited community partners to sign up to be Coverage Champions. Coverage Champions partners include a diverse mix of health centers and advocacy groups. DOM’s Stay Covered page can be found at: https://medicaid.ms.gov/staycovered/.
Other outreach efforts included:
- Postcard mailings to Medicaid member households
- Direct text and email blasts to Medicaid members
- Coordinating outreach through DOM’s coordinated care organizations
- Developed Stay Covered flyers for providers and community partners to share in their offices or in their community
- Online communications toolkit
- New sign-up feature for Late Breaking News alerts at: https://medicaid.ms.gov/late-breaking-news/
- Email blasts to provider trade associations
Beneficiaries who need assistance can visit https://medicaid.ms.gov/staycovered/ or they can call 800-421-2408.