Thousands of Hoosiers at risk of losing Medicaid benefits
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The unwinding of Medicaid benefits that were available during the pandemic is in full swing.
Notices were sent out on April 1 to people on Medicaid telling them they would be disenrolled within 30 days because they are no longer eligible.
People who couldn’t access private or employer-based health insurance were eligible during for Medicaid during the pandemic.
“Those rules prevented folks from getting disenrolled, and they didn’t have any kind of cost sharing, they didn’t have to pay for premiums for their health insurance, they didn’t have to pay for any deductibles,” said Susan Jo Thomas, the Executive Director of Covering Kids and Families of Indiana.
CKF is a non-profit organization that helps Hoosiers get and stay insured.
500,000 Hoosiers are at risk of being disenrolled the most of any state in the nation except Utah.
“There’s 6.7 million people that live in Indiana and 2.2 (million) of them are now enrolled in the Medicaid program,” Thomas said.
Even those who are able to switch to another health insurer may not be able to have the same doctors they had with Medicaid.
“We are really worried about what can happen if folks don’t know what’s coming,” Thomas said.
Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration says it is still in the process of reevaluating the eligibility of enrollees and there are no official numbers on how many people have been unenrolled.
“One of the pieces of coming off the Medicaid program is that you are likely eligible for the federal marketplace, also known as the Affordable Care Act,” Thomas said.
The end of the COVID-19 public health emergency means COVID-19 vaccines and testing kits are no longer free. However, the Marion County Health Department says it will continue to offer the vaccine free of charge.