End of Public Health Emergency Brings Changes to Mainers' Medicaid Coverage
Monday, March 13, 2023
Public health advocates are working to ensure Medicaid recipients in Maine continue to have health-care coverage once pandemic-era policies end this spring.
A law created to ensure continuous health coverage for children and families starts to "unwind" in May, and MaineCare recipients need to update their contact information with the state to ensure they retain that coverage - or move to a plan through the federal marketplace.
Ann Woloson - executive director of Consumers for Affordable Healthcare - said envelopes will soon arrive in mailboxes, and if "it's blue, it's time to renew."
"Do not ignore that envelope," said Woloson. "Open it up and provide the department with the information they need."
Woloson said "mymaineconnection.gov" is one way to update account information and determine MaineCare eligibility. She said families who now qualify for coverage through the marketplace can also qualify for subsidies to help cover monthly premiums.
It's estimated nearly 15 million people nationwide could lose coverage through Medicaid as the federal program returns to normal operations. While many people will no longer qualify, it's estimated nearly half could lose coverage for simply failing to update their status.
Woloson said that puts kids at risk.
"Research shows that if a parent loses coverage," said Woloson, "sometimes children will also unnecessarily lose coverage."
Woloson said families will have 90 days to enroll in a marketplace plan should they no longer qualify for MaineCare.
She said a special hotline with certified application counselors who can help guide people through that process is available at 1-800-965-7476.
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