Confusion and stress abound for 500,000 Texans bumped from Medicaid

For seven years, Maricela Delcid has guided Texans through the Medicaid application minefield, working past language barriers and documentation issues out of a community center in Houston. But her clients have never been more confused or frustrated than now, since the state began booting people from the program after a years-long period of continuous coverage.

During the pandemic, federal regulations prohibited states from removing people from Medicaid, allowing access to nonstop health insurance coverage for about 3 million Texans who would’ve regularly lost coverage beginning in March 2020. But new federal funding legislation lifted these protections in April, and the state launched the process of removing people it thought would be ineligible.

Half a million Texans — mainly children, but also disabled adults and women who recently gave birth — have lost coverage since then, leaving them in limbo without access to medical treatment. Some had become ineligible over the pandemic, whether they were children who aged out of the program, mothers who were past the time of prenatal coverage or those who have exceeded Texas’ strict income limit. But many remained eligible and were kicked off as a result of procedural issues, such as not receiving messages from the state, responding to them late or not including the correct documentation in their renewal application.

As a result, community health centers are bracing for a flood of people who don’t know their coverage has ended, and outreach centers that help navigate Medicaid are seeing their clients overwhelmed by the process.

Source: Confusion and stress abound for 500,000 Texans bumped from Medicaid / The Texas Tribune

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