Alaska pauses some Medicaid disenrollments

Alaska will pause procedural Medicaid coverage terminations through October after many children were disenrolled from the program, the Anchorage Daily News reported Oct. 1. 

Deb Etheridge, director of the Alaska Division of Public Assistance, told the outlet the department decided to pause procedural disenrollments for the month to give families extra time to send in income verification and other required paperwork. 

As of Sept. 28, Alaska had disenrolled about 23,000 people from Medicaid, accounting for 59 percent of Medicaid members whose coverage was up for renewal, according to KFF.

Of those disenrolled in Alaska, 76 percent were removed from Medicaid because they did not return required paperwork or other procedural reasons, rather than being determined to no longer be eligible for the program, according to KFF. 

Nationwide, nearly 7.8 million people have been disenrolled from Medicaid through the unwinding of measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic that prevented states from removing beneficiaries from Medicaid, according to KFF data. 

Other states, including Michigan and Minnesota, temporarily paused procedural  disenrollments to provide beneficiaries more time to renew their coverage in July. CMS has also temporarily paused disenrollments in some states after they reported issues with their automatic renewal systems. 

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