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Michigan approaches midway point in massive Medicaid renewal process

long corridor in hospital with surgical beds. tinted picture
beerkoff - stock.adobe.com
long corridor in hospital with surgical beds. tinted picture

Michigan is nearly at the midway point in a massive Medicaid re-enrollment process that’s expected to affect about 3 million people in the state.

The federal government stopped checking for Medicaid eligibility for three years during the height of the COVID-19 emergency.

States restarted this summer, on a rolling basis.

Megan Groen serves as the state’s Medicaid director. She says people on Medicaid will receive a notice when it’s time for them to renew their coverage. She says people who are no longer eligible will get referrals to buy new coverage on the healthcare marketplace.

“And so if you are getting that paperwork and you need health insurance, I’m going to encourage you to return that paperwork,” Groen said. “And we’re going to make sure that we get you into the program that’s right for you.”

So far the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports it’s processed more than 1.25 million cases. Of that number, about 65% of people have been deemed eligible for re-enrollment.

Of those who couldn’t re-enroll, the most common reason for being dropped is they didn’t return the paperwork.

“When we look at our procedural disenrollment - so people that didn’t return the paperwork, right - one in four of them have other comprehensive insurance,” Groen said.

MDHHS said it has added flexibility to the re-enrollment process to try to help more people get coverage. One way it’s done that is by automatically verifying eligibility through other programs - such as SNAP, the supplemental nutrition program. The department says for people whose eligibility was processed in October - the re-enrollment rate increased to 70%. And Groen says about 40% were re-enrolled through the automatic “ex-parte” process.

The state tracks the latest re-enrollment trends on an online dashboard.

The Medicaid re-enrollment process will continue through May of 2024.

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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