Medicaid renewal period open, recipients risk being dropped as continuous coverage ends

Continuous coverage ends on Friday, March 31, with April 1 marking the first day that states are allowed to disenroll people who no longer qualify.
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 8:05 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Last week, Governor Roy Cooper signed a Medicaid expansion bill that over 600,000 people in N.C. could benefit from.

Some people, however, will be dropped if they don’t renew their coverage soon.

For the past three years, tens of millions of Americans didn’t have to worry about renewing because Congress had passed a law that prevented states from dropping people from Medicaid.

But those protections, known as continuous coverage, end on Friday, March 31, with April 1 marking the first day that states are allowed to disenroll people who no longer qualify.

As many as 300,000 people in North Carolina and about 18 million across the country are at risk of losing their full health care coverage with continuous coverage ending.

One of the best ways to make sure you’re covered is to frequently check your mail for a letter from your local Department of Social Services or call them to make sure your information is up to date.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has an unwinding toolkit with important information you should know about renewing your Medicaid coverage.

If you do get dropped from Medicaid, however, there are other options out there.

“For the vast majority of people that would lose Medicaid, they should be able to get either a no cost or very low cost health insurance plan and it’s not a government plan. It’s through companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna Healthcare, Aetna,” said Eric Ritter, president of Insurance Solutions.

You also want to be cautious about scams if you are trying to renew. Many scammers will take advantage of the renewal for Medicaid and pretend to be a government employee.

“If someone calls and says, ‘Hey, we’re with or we’re with Blue Cross Blue Shield or United Healthcare’ I would be very leery of that. They’re not really making outbound calls to people to try to get them to enroll. So, people will try to legitimize themselves and say ‘I am with the government or I’m with Medicaid and I can help you get coverage,’” said Ritter.

You might receive a lot of mail from them, but providers will rarely reach out via telephone.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Social Security Administration will not call you to update your information or give you a new card. If someone calls you and asks for your personal information, do not provide it. Usually, they will ask for your name, social security number and date of birth.