During the last three years, Texans on Medicaid were automatically enrolled each year due to the Public Health Emergency being in place.
But the PHE ended on March 31st and now Medicaid recipients must update their information with Texas State Health & Human Services Commission and undergo a redetermination process to prevent losing their coverage.
Morayo Suara, Health Promotions Manager at the Brazos Valley Food Bank, is helping spread the word.
“We don’t want them to lose their Medicaid coverage due to inaction,” says Suara.
Suara says the HHSC is sending electronic and paper notifications to Medicaid recipients with various deadlines.
Brazos Valley residents are encouraged to contact the food bank if they need help navigating the process.
Click below to hear Morayo Suara visiting with WTAW’s Chelsea Reber.
News release from Brazos Valley Food Bank:
The Public Health Emergency (PHE) rule expired at the end of March 2023. Unless action is taken by all Texans on Medicaid, which serves low-income children and some parents, anywhere from 550,000 to 700,000 Texans will lose their Medicaid health insurance coverage, conservative estimates show.
A new report from researchers at Texas A&M University (report by Laura Dague & Ben Ikert, attached) finds that more than 1.6 million additional Texans joined the state’s Medicaid health insurance program during COVID-19, raising total enrollment to more than 5 million. Enrollees are primarily low-income children, pregnant women, and parents of dependent children. Researchers say the more than 40% jump in enrollment was the result of a federal public health emergency (PHE) rule put in place in 2020 that kept states from dropping Medicaid coverage for all enrollees and exempted them from completing what used to be routine renewal paperwork based on eligibility and income.
The federal requirement that states could not drop Medicaid coverage for enrollees ended on March 31, 2023. Texas has begun checking eligibility and income.
All Texas families with Medicaid are affected. The majority of enrolled will find upon redetermination that they are still eligible for coverage; however, the potential for large-scale loss of coverage exists because of confusion around the redetermination process.
What can Texas families on Medicaid do?
• Update information with Texas Medicaid, especially if you have moved since 2020. Report any changes, such as address, phone number, pregnancy, or household member changes at:
o By mail (send completed H1019-F Change of Report form to Texas Health and Human Services Commission- PO Box 149024, Austin, TX 78714-9024
o Fax (877-447-2839)
o Calling the Brazos Valley Food Bank (BVFB) at (979) 779-3663 and asking for assistance with Medicaid renewal
o Calling 2-1-1 and selecting option 2 • Keep an eye out for a yellow notice from the Texas Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) in the mail that says “Action Required” in red. Respond to requests or any others for information right away.
• Recipients who respond to renewal packets or requests for information from HHSC within 30 days will have their Medicaid coverage continued until HHSC completes a redetermination to confirm if they are eligible to continue receiving benefits.
Some Medicaid enrollees will now be ineligible for Medicaid health insurance under reinstated rules in Texas. HHSC will also evaluate a recipient’s eligibility for other HHSC health care programs, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program or Healthy Texas Women. Recipients will get a notice from HHSC if they are ineligible for Medicaid and are moved to a different health care program. Recipients’ applications are sent automatically to the federal Health Insurance Marketplace if they are not eligible for medical coverage through HHSC.
Individuals and families do not want to find out at the doctor’s office that they no longer have coverage. Action is needed now.