Disenrolled Medicaid beneficiaries aren't finding ACA plans

The shift from Medicaid coverage to individual exchange coverage is not going as planned, The Washington Post reported Sept. 28. 

In April, states began removing individuals no longer eligible for Medicaid from the program for the first time since March 2020. Federal officials hoped many of those losing coverage would enroll in individual plans through the ACA Exchange. 

Even in states investing in helping people who have lost their coverage find an individual plan, uptake has been slow, The Washington Post reported. 

New Mexico is covering the cost of the first month of coverage for Medicaid members transitioning to ACA plans — but just 9 percent of people disenrolled from Medicaid in the state so far have enrolled in an individual plan, according to The Washington Post. 

Rhode Island is covering the first two months of coverage and automatically enrolling some former Medicaid beneficiaries in ACA plans, then asking them if they want the coverage. Around 16 percent of those disenrolled from the state's Medicaid program have enrolled in ACA plans. 

State marketplaces often receive outdated addresses or phone numbers for Medicaid beneficiaries, making it difficult to contact them about ACA plans, The Washington Post reported, and confusing or missing information can prevent former Medicaid beneficiaries from finding marketplace plans. 

People determined ineligible for Medicaid are a small portion of those being disenrolled from the program. As of Sept. 28, around 1 in 4 Medicaid beneficiaries were disenrolled because they were determined to have incomes too high to qualify for the program, according to KFF. The remaining enrollees were removed for procedural reasons, like failing to return paperwork or the state being unable to contact them. 

These procedural disenrollments present a challenge for states, The Washington Post reported, because it's unclear if they are eligible for ACA plans or if they should be reenrolled in Medicaid. 

As of Sept. 28, 7.8 million people have been disenrolled from Medicaid through the continuous coverage unwinding process, according to KFF. 

Read The Washington Post's full report here. 

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