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HomenewsHundreds of Thousands of New Jersey Residents May Lose Medicaid Coverage in...

Hundreds of Thousands of New Jersey Residents May Lose Medicaid Coverage in the Near Future

Authorities in the state are getting ready for the end of pandemic guidelines that made more people eligible for Medicaid. This change could mean that hundreds of thousands of people lose access to health care.

President Joe Biden signed legislation last month that will see the continuing enrollment provisions terminate on March 31.

Previously, a federal statute passed in March 2020 obliged states to keep Medicaid enrollees enrolled during the federal public health emergency. This implies that authorities must again decide each year who is and is not qualified for Medicaid.

The precise number of New Jersey residents who will be removed from the state’s Medicaid programs is unknown. A nationwide 13% decline in enrollment is anticipated as a result of the resumption of Medicaid redeterminations.

State officials stated that they anticipate New Jersey to be generally in line with the national average, which would indicate that 230,000 children and adults in New Jersey could be dropped from the program.

However, they stressed that the projection is still tentative at this time. As of December, the state’s publicly financed health insurance program for citizens with low to moderate incomes, NJ FamilyCare, had more than 2.2 million members.

Certain organizations anticipate a greater drop. In a report issued last month, the Urban Institute predicted a 352,000-person decline in NJ FamilyCare participation.

Some residents must inevitably leave the public plan because they no longer meet the income requirements, they have gotten insurance from their employment or another source since signing up for NJ FamilyCare, or they have relocated outside of the state.

Hundreds of Thousands of New Jersey Residents May Lose Medicaid Coverage in the Near Future

Legislators do not anticipate a drastic decline in enrollment. The head of the Assembly’s health committee, Assemblyman Herb Conaway, credited the state Department of Human Services with planning the change.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “has been anticipating this scenario and has laid in a lot of planning and development of regulations and processes to reduce the impact of that, and I think they feel pretty pleased with what they’ve done,” Conaway added. They have put plans in place since we anticipated it coming sooner than this year.

According to the research firm Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of people enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program nationwide increased to 90.9 million in September 2022, an increase of roughly 30% from enrollment before the pandemic in February 2020.

The Department of Human Services will start mailing redetermination documents to enrollees in April, so officials are advising individuals who are NJ FamilyCare participants to keep an eye out for them.

The person in charge of NJ FamilyCare, Assistant Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Langer Jacobs, said, “We want to prevent anyone from losing coverage as a result of not responding to the eligibility process.”

“If a family or a person loses coverage, they can always contact our NJ FamilyCare helpline for assistance with reapplying.” Residents will be notified in writing that they will be dropped from the program if they receive a redetermination packet and do not respond within three to four weeks.
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The NJ FamilyCare hotline can be reached at 1-800-701-0710 for assistance. Those who were disenrolled for non-responsiveness have 90 days to reapply.

The bill that Biden signed also ends the enhanced Medicaid money matching that states have been receiving for the majority of the outbreak.
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In January 2024, they’ll be zeroed out. Many enrollees may have already gotten redetermination letters.

Hundreds of Thousands of New Jersey Residents May Lose Medicaid Coverage in the Near Future

In case the federal public health emergency was not renewed, state officials have been sending them packets for months, but they should be on the lookout for fresh ones that will start to arrive in April. According to state officials, the redetermination procedure might take up to 12 months.

Langer Jacobs emphasized that they must find that packet and respond to it as soon as it arrives. That is what will enable them to maintain their eligibility.

Due to new federal regulations, some residents may be reenrolled even if they do not return their redetermination packet. These regulations permit states to use SNP participant eligibility information to determine Medicaid eligibility.

But the government warned people not to rely on automatic enrollment, saying that doing so could cause some people to be mistakenly dropped from public insurance.

The five managed care organizations that oversee NJ FamilyCare plans can now be more closely coordinated thanks to other regulation modifications.

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To reach out to residents who did not reply to earlier redetermination letters, the state has enlisted the assistance of such organizations.

Regardless of how they responded to earlier mailings, every NJ FamilyCare enrollee will get a redetermination packet on or about April 1. In its outreach efforts, the state has also asked religious institutions, hospitals, and food banks, as well as other community and advocacy groups, to help.

“We’ll be developing content, social media advertisements, and other things of that nature.” The director of New Jersey Citizen Action’s health program, Laura Waddell, stated, “We’ll be organizing community events.”

Waddell said that her group will help people who lost their health insurance find new coverage through the Affordable Care Act or state insurance exchanges.

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