3 million Pennsylvanians need to renew Medicaid eligibility to continue state-sponsored health insurance
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Three million Pennsylvanians on Medicaid during the pandemic will have to reapply for continued coverage beginning April 1.
As KDKA-TV money editor Jon Delano explains, it could also mean loss of health coverage for some.
During the pandemic, those on Medicaid – state-provided health care coverage for lower income Pennsylvanians – did not have to reapply each year to determine their eligibility, but that comes to an end on April 1.
"I think we will see the numbers go down. We know that life circumstances have changed. Many of the folks on Medicaid may no longer be eligible. They may have employer-sponsored coverage. Maybe their income increased or they got coverage through some other way," says Antoinette Kraus, executive director of the non-profit Pennsylvania Health Access Network.
Kraus says current Medicaid recipients will start to get forms to fill out to see if they remain eligible for this help.
"If you are a single individual and your income is below $20,120, you're eligible for Medicaid. For a family of four, if your income is below $41,400, you're eligible for Medicaid," Kraus said.
And even if the parents are no longer eligible, the children might still qualify under CHIP, the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Kraus warns Medicaid recipients to watch for renewal letters from the Department of Human Services over the next year on the anniversary of their renewal date.
"If you don't respond to any of their requests for renewal or you miss the renewal date, you could end up losing coverage," says Kraus.
If you do lose your state Medicaid coverage, you should check out the state's health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act called Pennie, with insurance cheaper than ever.
"During the public health emergency, Congress passed additional subsidies to make that coverage even more affordable for individuals, so there's actually increased subsidies available now that folks can take advantage of to help make that coverage affordable," says Kraus.
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network is willing to talk to any resident about their health coverage, and the state's Department of Human Services is asking all those getting benefits to update their contact info so no one falls through the cracks.
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network can be found here or by phone/text at 877-570-3642 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The state Department of Human Services can be reached at 877-395-8930, and DHS encourages all those getting benefits to update their contact information here. The DHS also encourages all to opt in to receive text messages.
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