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Governor candidates clash over Mississippi’s Medicaid leadership

Nearly 30,000 Mississippians previously receiving Medicaid benefits are now no longer covered by the government-subsidized insurance program.

The Division of Medicaid (DOM) announced in April that it would begin restarting its yearly Medicaid eligibility reviews due to the ending of the national emergency issued for the COVID-19 pandemic.

From March 2020 to June 2023, an additional nearly 200,000 Mississippians started receiving Medicaid coverage as a result of DOM putting a halt on periodic reviews of an enrollee’s eligibility.

“In April, DOM initiated reviews for 67,695 beneficiaries with June renewal months. Approximately 56 percent of the beneficiaries in the June review month retained coverage,” DOM stated. “Of the more than 29,000 who were disenrolled, at least 60 percent were individuals whose coverage had previously been extended because of the special eligibility rules during the PHE.”

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

On Monday, Mississippi Democratic gubernatorial candidate Brandon Presley unveiled his healthcare policy plan, which included expanding Medicaid services throughout the state and replacing current DOM Executive Director Drew Snyder with a healthcare professional, not a “career political hack.”

Governor Tate Reeves’ staff on Wednesday responded to the shot the Democratic candidate took at the executive director.

“Drew is doing a great job, and we are grateful for his service to Mississippi,” Reeves’ deputy chief of staff Cory Custer told SuperTalk Mississippi News. “Thankfully, Brandon Presley will never be governor, so this is really a non-issue.”

Snyder was appointed to his current position by former governor Phil Bryant in 2018. Reeves retained him as the DOM’s executive director when he took office in 2019.

DOM anticipates enrollment numbers to remain on the decline as the department continues reviewing recipients’ eligibility. Monthly numbers will be reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during this process.

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