Special Enrollment Period set as Medicaid redetermination process resumes following a three-year pauseApril 18, 2023
Champaign, Ill. – Health Alliance is offering assistance to individuals and families who are losing their Medicaid health coverage due to the end of the Medicaid continuous enrollment provision that was a requirement of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Medicaid customers have not been asked to renew their Medicaid coverage since 2020, sparking concerns that many people may be unprepared to act or unsure of the process to do so and lose their health coverage.
The continuous enrollment condition allowed people to remain enrolled in Medicaid until the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which has been renewed every 90 days since it was first declared in 2020. Now, with the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency slated for May 11, many individuals and families may find themselves ineligible for continued Medicaid coverage and need to find coverage on their own either through their employer or an individual plan.
“It’s anticipated that as many as half a million Illinois residents may not be able to meet eligibility requirements for Medicaid when the redetermination process and disenrollment resume,” Sinéad Rice Madigan, president and chief executive officer, Health Alliance said. “Helping community members obtain affordable healthcare plans that give them the benefits they need is our top priority. Health Alliance, along with a number of insurance carriers across the state, provide extensive financial support through individual and family healthcare products.”
The State of Illinois will start the redetermination process by sending the first renewal notices in early May for Medicaid customers with June renewals. The redetermination process is a rolling process that occurs throughout the year as Medicaid customers’ renewal dates come due. Following this rolling pattern, it is important that everyone with Medicaid coverage look for redetermination materials to arrive by mail when their renewal month is approaching.
Customers who do not respond, or are no longer eligible, lose their Medicaid coverage a month after their due date passes. The process will continue over a 12-month period until all Medicaid members have been contacted for an eligibility update.
Those who lose their coverage will have a 60-day Special Enrollment Period through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
“Many people may be eligible for significant Marketplace subsidies and not even know it,” Charles Joujoute, Consumer Sales and Retention manager for Health Alliance shared. “Those losing coverage can look at Marketplace plans during their Special Enrollment Period and enroll at Healthcare.Gov or call Health Alliance at (877) 686-1168 (TTY 711) to explore plan options. According to the federal government, about 4 in 5 Americans applying for coverage in the Marketplace have been able to access insurance coverage for $10 per month or less.”
Prior to the onset of the pandemic, Medicaid redetermination was an annual process used to verify that Medicaid enrollees continue to be eligible for Medicaid coverage. “Thanks in part to the Medicaid continuous enrollment requirement the number of uninsured people in Illinois has dropped,” Madigan says. “We don’t want to see the number of uninsured begin to rise again as people are disenrolled, so we encourage those impacted to reach out for assistance. Our hope is that individuals and families needing to find new healthcare plans can seamlessly continue to see the providers they have come to know and trust.”
Health Alliance™ is a leading, provider-driven health insurance plan based in Champaign, IL, serving Illinois, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio. Established in 1980, Health Alliance is the largest health insurer in downstate Illinois and is part of Carle Health, an integrated system of healthcare services, which includes eight hospitals, multispecialty physician groups, as well as Carle Illinois College of Medicine, Methodist College and Stephens Family Clinical Research Institute.
In Illinois, Health Alliance offers individual and employer group plans, individual and group Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Supplement plans. In Iowa and Indiana, Health Alliance offers employer group plans and Medicare Advantage plans. And in Ohio, Health Alliance offers Medicare Advantage plans. For more information visit HealthAlliance.org/Individual.