By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has started to reach out to approximately 150,000 Medicaid participants to see if they are still eligible for the program.
During the COVID-19 federal health emergency, states weren’t allowed to remove anyone from Medicaid, and allowed continuous enrollment. Congress decoupled that provision from the public health emergency in December, and starting April 1, states can remove ineligible participants.
Medicaid expansion allows people younger than 65 years old who are under 138 percent of the poverty level to enroll in Medicaid. Others who are eligible for Medicaid include people 65 years and older who meet certain income requirements, pregnant women who are under 138 percent of the poverty level, and people with disabilities.
Throughout the pandemic, IDHW still reached out to Medicaid participants to make sure they were still eligible, a process called redetermination. Of Idaho’s 450,000 participants, the state knows approximately 300,000 still qualify. It hasn’t heard from the remaining enrollees.
Starting today, the department is sending out redetermination letters to those 150,000 Idahoans. Those who don’t respond within 60 days will be removed from Medicaid. The department will also remove those who respond and no longer qualify, because of their new higher income levels or other reasons.
The department will refer those people to the Idaho health insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho.
IDHW said in a Wednesday press release that it will send out 30,000 redetermination letters between now and July, and will complete the redetermination process by September. A Jan. 31 letter from the House Health and Welfare Committee requested the department speed up the process, with a deadline of July 1, 2023. The request comes as the legislature is scrutinizing rising Medicaid costs in the state.
What happens if you get a redetermination letter?
In order to keep your Medicaid coverage, respond within 60 days. Report any changes in your household and contact information, including income. Call DHW at at 877-456-1233, email MyBenefits@dhw.idaho.gov, or visit idalink.idaho.gov
If you no longer qualify, IDHW will refer you to Your Health Idaho.
“Idahoans who are referred to YHI will receive a notification with an access code which will enable a quick start for setting up their account. Once their account is set up and application submitted, they will immediately know the amount of tax credit they qualify for and can shop and enroll in a plan,” the department said in a Wednesday press release. “To prevent a gap in coverage, YHI is encouraging Idahoans to apply and enroll in coverage before their Medicaid end date. For those who do not, they will have 60-days from their Medicaid end date to enroll through a special enrollment period.”