Kentuckians with Medicaid won’t automatically keep their benefits starting in April
The main thing people with Medicaid coverage can do to prepare for the change is update their contact information with the state.
Since the coronavirus pandemic started, Kentuckians with Medicaid health benefits basically got to hold onto their health coverage automatically thanks to special federal requirements.
Starting next month, though, state officials have to go back to verifying whether people remain eligible for Medicaid before renewing their benefits. That’s because of a recent change in U.S. law.
Most people covered by Medicaid still won’t have to do anything to keep their benefits over the next year, said Dustin Pugel, policy director for the nonprofit Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
However, he said about 234,000 of the roughly 1.7 million Kentuckians with Medicaid will be asked to provide additional information the state needs to determine their eligibility.
They could lose their coverage if they don’t reply, Pugel said. That’s why it’s important to ensure state officials are able to contact them.
“The state needs to know where to send that letter, so that’s why they have been telling people ‘Make sure your address is up to date.’ Because you haven’t had to do this in three years.”
The Center for Economic Policy estimates that 16% of the approximately 290,000 people in Jefferson County who receive Medicaid probably will be asked to take certain steps as part of the upcoming renewal process.
That statewide review will happen gradually over the next year, so people shouldn’t expect to get a request for information from the government right away.
For now, Pugel said the main thing they can do is update their contact information. People can do that online at kynect.ky.gov or by calling 855-459-6328.
“I think the main message right now is don’t panic,” Pugel said. “There’s not a whole lot that needs to happen just yet.”
Kentuckians can learn more about the upcoming changes to the Medicaid renewal process at medicaidunwinding.ky.gov.