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Missourians could lose Medicaid coverage starting July 1

According to the Missouri Department of Social Services (DSS), over 1.5 million Missourians are currently covered by Medicaid. During the COVID-19 pandemic, recipients of Medicaid could not lose their coverage, except in some extenuating circumstances, due to federal guidelines. 

DSS was allowed to continue to conduct eligibility assessments this past April, beginning the process of determining coverage. DSS also sent out warnings about the annual renewals and currently has a message on its website telling Medicaid recipients to check their mail and update their mailing addresses if needed. 

Many Missourians will lose their coverage due to changes in their eligibility status. There are a wide range of factors that determine eligibility for Medicaid. 

But many people tend to lose coverage, even if they are still eligible. According to a survey on the 2018-2019 enrollment period done by the Missouri Budget Project, surveyed providers found that 87% of patients that lost coverage “still met income eligibility requirements, but lost coverage due solely to challenges in the renewal process.” Furthermore, over 84% “were unaware of the coverage loss until scheduling or attending an appointment.” 

Some of these challenges turn out to be simple mistakes, such as moving houses but not updating the address or not receiving renewal paperwork in the mail. 

Although enrollment dates vary based on the recipient, July 1 is the date on which Missourians can actually lose their coverage. Some groups are wary that many eligible recipients will lose coverage come July 1 and the months following. 

Missouri Coalition for Primary Health Care (MPCA) assists federally qualified healthcare centers with healthcare and training. The organization has been reaching out to Medicaid recipients to try and prevent some of the potential coverage loss. 

Iva Eggert-Shepherd, senior outreach program manager at (MPCA), talked about what Medicaid recipients can do to avoid losing coverage if they are still eligible 

“It is so important at this time to be watching your mail all the time, responding to all the forms that are sent to you…and also making sure that your address is updated with the family support division,” she said. 

Eggert-Shepherd also talked about some of the more intricate parts of the renewal system, including the dates. You can expect to get renewal paperwork about a month before your renewal date. 

“We are focused on doing everything we can at the Missouri Primary Care Association to help people keep their insurance,” she said. 

If you need help with your Medicaid coverage you visit the DSS Family Support Division website or the showmecoverage website. You can also call showmecoverage at 417-840-6788.