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How End of Continuous Medicaid Enrollment Affects Health Coverage

March 02, 2023

Medicaid (MA) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will reach nearly 95 million enrollees ahead of the end of continuous enrollment on March 31.

A new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) evaluates the ways continuous enrollment in the Medicaid and CHIP programs affected health insurance coverage across the U.S. The KFF report follows other research indicating that many Medicaid-enrolled families are unaware of the upcoming coverage change.

Here’s what you need to know.

  • Pandemic growth:  During the pandemic, enrollment in MA and CHIP grew by 23.3 million, accounting for one in every four enrollees.
    • Pennsylvania saw an estimated enrollment increase of about 835,600.
  • Losing coverage:  KFF estimates between 5.3 million and 14.2 million people will lose Medicaid coverage during the unwinding of continuous enrollment.
  • By state:  California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois made up about a third of the increase in MA and CHIP enrollment.
  • Demographics:  More than half of the enrollment increase was among low-income adults under age 65 (56%), and nearly one-third was among children.
  • Key issue:  “As states start to resume renewal procedures for all current Medicaid enrollees, there is substantial uncertainty as to how much of the Medicaid enrollment growth during the pandemic will be sustained, how many people will transition to other coverage, and how many people could end up uninsured,” the KFF issue brief notes.

To ensure that patients and families covered by MA and CHIP continue to have health care coverage, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS)—in partnership with provider organizations, including HAP—has developed resources to help providers share important information with patients.

DHS’s stakeholder toolkit includes printable education materials, scripts for conversations with patients, and digital assets, such as social media posts and website graphics.

The toolkit is available online.