KFF: Some Medicaid Beneficiaries are Uninsured After Being Disenrolled


More than half of those survey by KFF who were disenrolled from Medicaid said they put off needed medical care because of costs.

About 20% of Medicaid enrollees lost coverage last year as a result of states rolling back protections from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of these enrollees, 23% have remained uninsured, according to the results of a new survey by KFF.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicaid enrollees had to reapply every year for coverage. The 2020 public health emergency, however, required that states keep people enrolled in Medicaid programs. Once the public health emergency ended in May 2023, states could begin the process of disenrolling people who no longer met the eligibility for coverage.

KFF interviewed 1,227 U.S. adults who had Medicaid coverage before April 1, 2023, the date by which enrollees were required to have started their renewal process. The survey was conducted between Feb. 15 and March 11, 2024, online and by telephone. KFF researchers wanted to highlight people’s experiences and the impact of the Medicaid unwinding process.

Of those surveyed, KFF found that 47% we able to reenroll in the program and another 28% found another health insurance. But during the process of renewal or finding other coverage, 56% of these respondents said they skipped or delayed getting healthcare services or prescriptions.

Of the enrollees who have found other insurance, 39% said their current coverage is about the same when it comes to the services covered while 26% say their current coverage is better. But 67% of these adults said the out-of-pocket costs of their current coverage are worse compared with Medicaid. And 65% said the monthly premiums they pay for their new coverage are worse when compared with Medicaid. (See Table below.)

More than half of those who have not been able to find new coverage said cost was the main reason. Additionally, 36% of the currently uninsured group say they are still trying to get Medicaid coverage.

The overall public was not aware of the Medicaid unwinding process. In fact, 69% in a separate KFF surveyearlier this year said they had heard little or nothing about states removing people from Medicaid. Among adults who were enrolled in Medicaid before the start of the unwinding process, 53% had heard little or nothing about the unwinding process.

Of those who have reenrolled for Medicaid coverage, 35% found the process difficult, and 25% said filling out the forms was difficult. Additionally, of those that reenrolled 58% said they had at least one problem, including long wait times on the phone, not knowing what documents were needed, incomplete documents, or forms that were not processed.

Black (71%) and Hispanic (60%) adults were much more likely than White adults (42%) to say they were asked to submit proof of residency as part of the renewal process.

Source: KFF

Source: KFF

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