HHS pauses procedural Medicaid disenrollments in 30 states

HHS has paused procedural Medicaid terminations in 30 states reporting issues with their automatic renewal systems, and coverage for nearly 500,000 people improperly disenrolled through the error will be restored, the agency said Sept. 21. 

On Aug. 30, CMS sent a letter to Medicaid directors in all 50 states, warning them automatic renewal systems in several states are calculating eligibility at the family income level, rather than the individual level. The glitch resulted in improper disenrollments, especially for children, because family members may have different eligibility requirements. 

According to documents published by CMS, 30 states had reported issues with their automatic renewal systems. Two states, Nevada and Pennsylvania, each estimated over 100,000 people were affected by the error. 

According to a Sept. 21 news release from CMS, all 30 states reporting improper disenrollments were required to pause procedural disenrollments for the affected beneficiaries, unless they could ensure all eligible people are not improperly disenrolled due to this issue. 

"Thanks to swift action by HHS, nearly half a million individuals, including children, will have their coverage reinstated, and many more will be protected going forward. HHS is committed to making sure people have access to affordable, quality health insurance — whether that's through Medicare, Medicaid, the Marketplace or their employer," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the news release. 

As of Sept. 20, at least 7.2 million people have been disenrolled from Medicaid through the unwinding of continuous enrollment requirements, according to KFF. Of those disenrolled, 73 percent were removed from Medicaid for procedural reasons, rather than being determined ineligible for the program. 

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