The Biden-Harris administration has released new Medicaid and CHIP renewal data that shows the role of state policy choices in keeping children safe.

Sec. Becerra called on the nine states with the highest child enrollment to immediately adopt proven federal flexibilities to protect children and families; Biden-Harris administration extends federal flexibility for states until the end of 2024

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new updates on state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment changes among children and youth since full eligibility renewals for these programs resumed earlier this year. Data released. The data released today make it clear that state policy choices during Medicaid and CHIP renewals have real impacts on children and families. States that adopt proven flexibilities and strategies from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are better able to protect children’s coverage, especially when the state has also expanded Medicaid.

According to the data:

  • States that have more adopted the federal strategies provided by CMS and prioritized auto-renewal (partisan) Reducing red tape for families has helped more eligible children renew Medicaid and CHIP coverage. Many of CMS’ flexibilities make it easier for states to renew coverage for eligible children using data that is already available.
  • Barriers to coverage, such as the failure to expand Medicaid, are pushing children and youth through the cracks. For example, the 10 states that did not expand Medicaid, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming combined, enrolled more children than the states that did expand. Has been cancelled. In non-expansion states, youth who turn 19 while in continuous enrollment status are at risk of falling into the coverage gap and becoming uninsured; These youth account for an average of 27.6% of child enrollment in non-expansion states since March 2023, compared to 12.1% of enrollment in expansion states.
  • By September 2023, more than 88 million people, including nearly 40 million children and youth, were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP coverage. Before the pandemic, in February 2020, about 71 million people were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, including about 35 million children. ,

In light of this data, CMS issued new comprehensive guidance to states on strategies to protect Medicaid and CHIP coverage for children during this return to routine Medicaid and CHIP renewals. The guidance also announced the extension of these federal strategies to states through the end of 2024.

Secretary Becerra also sent a letter to the governors of the nine states with the highest child enrollment rates by numbers and percentage, asking them to adopt additional federal strategies and flexibilities to help prevent children and their families from losing coverage due to red tape. Was requested. Those states include Arkansas*, Florida*, Georgia*, Idaho*, Montana*, New Hampshire*, Ohio*, South Dakota* and Texas*. These nine states account for nearly 60% of the decline in Children’s Medicaid and CHIP enrollment from March to September 2023, according to data released today. This is especially important for children and families of color who are likely to be disproportionately impacted.

Secretary Becerra said, I urge you to ensure that no eligible child in your state loses their health insurance because of red tape or other bureaucratic hurdles during the Medicaid enrollment process.

Because children’s eligibility thresholds are generally higher than adults’, many children who are disenrolled may still meet sufficient Medicaid or CHIP eligibility requirements, allowing states to fail to enroll eligible children. Underlines the need to take further action. In his letter, Secretary Becerra told these governors:

  • Adopt dozens of federal flexibilities and strategies developed to make renewal easier for children and families, including taking advantage of the guidance and tools published by CMS today;
  • Remove barriers, such as CHIP enrollment fees and premiums, that make it difficult for children to transition to CHIP coverage if they are no longer eligible for Medicaid;
  • Reach additional families by reducing call center wait times and partnering with pediatric providers, managed care plans, schools and community organizations; And
  • If states have not already done so, expand their Medicaid programs to ensure that young adults over the age of 18 have affordable coverage options and do not fall into the coverage gap.

The actions taken today reflect HHS’s continued commitment to helping people access comprehensive, high-quality health coverage, whether through Medicaid, CHIP, the health insurance marketplace, Medicare, or employers. To date, HHS, through CMS, has issued comprehensive guidance to states on federal Medicaid and CHIP renewal requirements, approving nearly 400 flexibilities for states to make renewal easier for people, to help individuals A special enrollment period has been made available on Healthcare.gov. Those eligible for Medicaid transition into Marketplace coverage, engaged with stakeholders in the public and private sectors, and conducted extensive outreach and advertising efforts to improve awareness of the return on regular Medicaid and CHIP renewals. HHS will continue to closely monitor states’ renewal efforts to ensure compliance with federal Medicaid renewal requirements and will not hesitate to take action where it identifies noncompliance issues.

CMS is doing everything in our power to protect access to health coverage, especially for children, during the Medicaid and CHIP renewal process, said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. That’s why we’ve put forward dozens of strategies for states to protect children and families’ ability to stay covered. Many states have worked with us to adopt the strategies we have laid out, and we strongly urge all states to do their part to ensure that eligible children get the coverage they need to grow and thrive. Needed to flourish.

In addition to this data release on children and youth, CMS is issuing a CMS Informational Bulletin that highlights and announces for the first time steps states can take to help keep eligible children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. that (e)(14) flexibilities will be available until at least the end of 2024, providing States even greater opportunity to adopt these strategies; New guidance to support the transition from Medicaid to other forms of coverage, including CHIP, and additional guidance to help states adopt CMS strategies and flexibilities to promote continuity of coverage; and data describing other enrollment trends during renewal, including trends related to Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment.

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