Three years ago, the federal government declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) in response to COVID-19 that provided critical support and health care for District residents and their families. During the PHE, nearly all existing and new Medicaid enrollees were able to enroll and stay covered regardless of changes in eligibility or status. That is about to change.
Recent legislation passed by Congress separated Medicaid renewals from the PHE. What does this mean exactly? Every state, including the District, will resume determining an individual’s Medicaid eligibility beginning April 1. The Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) estimates that thousands of current Medicaid enrollees will no longer be eligible as a result of Medicaid renewal, also known as Medicaid redetermination.
As Medicaid renewal resumes, now is the time to prepare. Here is a checklist to help Medicaid beneficiaries in the District get ready for this process:
- Make sure DHCF has your current contact information. You can make updates at www.districtdirect.dc.gov/ua.
- Check your mail. DHCF will send a letter about your coverage. If you still qualify for coverage, the letter will provide instructions about when to complete your renewal form.
- You can fill out the renewal form at www.districtdirect.dc.gov/ua. Or you can mail the form or visit a service center in person. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation.
- If you don’t qualify, you can find affordable health plans through your employer or from the Health Insurance Marketplace. New subsidies make health plans on the Marketplace more affordable than ever.
The pandemic brought years of uncertainty that caused us to appreciate the importance of good health. Now our focus is on raising awareness about the available options so that everyone has access to healthcare coverage as we approach the end of the Public Health Emergency.
Adrian Jordan is president of Amerigroup D.C.