The fight against Medicaid disenrollments is underway

The first lawsuit challenging the Medicaid redetermination process was filed in Florida on Aug. 22. On the same day, community organizers in Arkansas protested the process outside the state's capitol. 

The proposed class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Florida families accusing the state of terminating their Medicaid coverage without proper notice or a chance to contest the decision. The lawsuit alleges that the families' due process rights were violated and are asking a Florida federal court to stop the state from disenrolling people from the program "until timely and legally adequate notice of termination has been provided to them."

The lawsuit alleges the families received confusing notices from the state's Medicaid agency. It further alleges the notices were several pages long, included conflicting information from one section to another and did not clearly explain why coverage was ending or what steps could be taken to challenge the decision.

As of Aug. 23, more than 5.3 million people have been disenrolled from Medicaid during the redetermination process, according to KFF. Nationwide, 74 percent of the people who have been disenrolled from the program have been for procedural reasons, rather than determinations that the beneficiaries are no longer eligible for the program.   

Arkansas Community Organizations has held several protests this year highlighting Medicaid recipients' challenges, including difficulties ensuring that the state's Department of Human Services has accurately recorded income and contact information, the Arkansas Advocate reported Aug. 22. The group is now asking state and federal officials to intervene in the state's administration of Medicaid. 

A letter sent to CMS asks that Arkansas pause the Medicaid disenrollments, according to the report. Arkansas Community Organizations has expressed concern that people who are still eligible for Medicaid are going to lose or have already lost coverage due to bureaucratic hurdles. 

The letter to CMS also lists changes to Medicaid that recipients have said would make services more accessible to them, such as using plain language in notices sent to beneficiaries and staffing the human services department's county office with employees who fully understand the rules and criteria of Medicaid's programs, according to the report. 

In Texas, anonymous employees with Texas HHS filed a whistleblower complaint against the agency over "numerous and growing system issues" they say are leading to incorrectly terminated health coverage during the Medicaid redeterminations process, according to an Aug. 24 Nexstar report.

According to the report, system coding errors in Texas have placed individuals under 18 in incorrect coverage groups, and 5,800 pregnant or postpartum women have had coverage incorrectly denied. The employees urged CMS to intervene to ensure the state is complying with federal regulations around the redeterminations process.

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