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HHS announces Medicaid flexibilities as millions face dis-enrollment

HHS announces Medicaid flexibilities as millions face dis-enrollment

WASHINGTON - The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced new flexibilities to help keep Americans covered as states resume Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) renewals.  

Continuous Medicaid enrollment established under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) ended on March 31, 2023, and millions of Medicaid beneficiaries stand to lose coverage in the coming months. 

The new flexibilities were announced in a letter Secretary Becerra sent to the nation’s governors urging them to adopt all available flexibilities to minimize avoidable coverage losses among children and families.   

“Nobody who is eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program should lose coverage simply because they changed addresses, didn’t receive a form, or didn’t have enough information about the renewal process,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We encourage states to utilize all available flexibilities to ensure children and families don’t lose coverage. We also urge states to join us in partnering with local governments, community organizations, and schools to reach people eligible for Medicaid and CHIP where they are.” 

Building on flexibilities HHS offered to states well before renewals resumed, some of the new flexibilities announced this week include: 

  • Allowing managed care plans to assist people with Medicaid with completing their renewal forms, including completing certain parts of the renewal forms on their behalf. 
  • Allowing states to delay an administrative termination for one month while the state conducts additional targeted outreach. This will give people more time to be reminded to fill out and return their renewal forms. 
  • Allowing pharmacies and community-based organizations to facilitate reinstatement of coverage for those who were recently disenrolled for procedural reasons based on presumptive eligibility criteria. 

“CMS is committed to making sure people have the affordable, high-quality health coverage they need,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “I am deeply concerned about eligible losing coverage, and am urging states and partners to adopt the strategies we have outlined to help people renew their Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plan coverage if they are eligible or link them to new health coverage. We will continue to monitor and work collaboratively with states, advocates, the health care industry and others to keep people covered.” 


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