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150,000 Mississippians could lose Medicaid coverage, MDHS director warns

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With the federal government’s public health emergency for COVID-19 ending on Monday, Mississippi has begun the process of restarting its yearly Medicaid eligibility reviews.

The public health emergency expanded Medicaid and CHIP coverage eligibility. The Department of Medicaid (DOM) will now analyze beneficiaries’ information to determine who is qualified to continue receiving coverage.

Bob Anderson, the Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Human Services, estimates that nearly six percent of the state’s population is at risk of losing Medicaid coverage.

“During the pandemic, nobody could be disenrolled from Medicaid. They all stayed on Medicaid, but it appears that there will be a huge unwind,” Anderson explained on The Gallo Show. “I’m guessing 100,000 to 150,000 people [will lose coverage].”

Although those covered have been informed to have their Medicaid information updated by the time of DOM renewal, Dr. Mark Horne, former president of the Mississippi State Medical Association, argues that many recipients may not have received the memo due to a lack of internet services or a change in home address.

“I’ve got a lot of patients on Medicaid that don’t necessarily have secure internet. Maybe they don’t have secure phone services. They may be changing addresses because of needing to rent a different place or being evicted,” Horne said on MidDays with Gerard Gibert. “They may not know that they need to be enrolled. They may not be getting the mail that says they need to be enrolled.”

Horne supports the removal of unqualified beneficiaries from receiving Medicaid coverage. However, he would like to see a more concerted effort into protecting vulnerable individuals in dire need of care.

To learn how to renew your Medicaid information, click here.

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