Millions May Lose Their Pandemic Medicaid Coverage

A notice from the state of Arkansas stating an enrollee is ineligible for Medicaid benefits. (Photo by Brandon Dill for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Between 5 million and 14 million people could lose Medicaid coverage over the next year as a pandemic-era benefit unwinds, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation projection. That doesn’t mean a crisis is imminent, but how individual states handle the process will play a major role in determining whether it becomes a calamity or a nothingburger.

The “unwinding” begins April 1, after the continuous enrollment requirement state governments signed on to as part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in March 2020 ends.

The “vast majority” of people losing Medicaid coverage will be eligible for other forms of insurance, including subsidized plans under the Affordable Care Act that will still be “highly valuable to them as opposed to being uninsured,” said American Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Jim Capretta. But it’ll be a daunting administrative task for states.

What is being unwound?

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