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Should the surge in involuntary Medicaid disenrollments worry nursing home residents?

by | Jun 27, 2023 | Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect

As states perform Medicaid redeterminations, the country has seen a rise in the number of involuntary Medicaid disenrollments. This surge has caused concern for many, especially those living in nursing homes who rely on Medicaid for their care and treatment.

While the surge in disenrollments is cause for concern, one must separate the statistics from the real-world impact.

Impact on nursing homes

Despite the large number of disenrollments, surveys conducted by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News reveal that the impact on nursing homes is not as severe as initially feared. Several associations, including LeadingAge PA, reported no significant impact or widespread disenrollment issues among their members.

In Indiana, despite over 53,000 residents losing coverage, the state’s Family and Social Services Administration developed a communications plan to help facilities understand requirements, aiming to prevent disruptions in benefits for Medicaid recipients. These proactive measures have proven effective in ensuring that residents do not lose coverage.

Causes of disenrollment

Most disenrollments are due to procedural issues rather than proven ineligibility. According to KFF, many people lost coverage due to technicalities such as not returning paperwork or omitting required documents. In Oklahoma, where the majority of disenrollments occurred, about 70% were due to procedural issues.

In Arkansas, the state saw over 54,300 individuals disenrolled from Medicaid after they began redeterminations following a three-year hiatus. The state has since brought on contractors to help with the increased caseload associated with unwinding eligibility.

The recent surge in involuntary Medicaid disenrollments should not cause undue worry for nursing home residents. While the statistics paint a concerning picture, in practice, many facilities and associations are effectively managing the situation. They are maintaining standard processes and developing plans to ensure the continuity of care for their residents.