SAN ANTONIO – Changes to Medicaid enrollment could impact seniors, disabled and pregnant women, with Friday, March 31 being the last day for continuous coverage.
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government declared a public health emergency and relaxed Medicaid rules to allow more people to stay on the national health insurance program.
As the PHE comes to an end, so does continuous Medicaid eligibility and people will need to renew their benefits.
“Federal guidance requires HHSC to conduct a renewal for all 5.9 million Medicaid recipients over a 12-month period. HHSC will stagger Medicaid redeterminations over multiple months, prioritizing redeterminations for those most likely to no longer qualify for Medicaid,” said José Andrés Araiza, deputy chief press officer with Texas Health & Human Services.
Lily Quintanilla, a mother to a 6-year-old disabled child, has to stay on top of any Medicaid changes for the sake of her family.
“I don’t know what we would do without Medicaid right now because just food alone is so expensive. Because he’s on a special formula, I don’t think we could afford to even feed him,” Quintanilla said.
Yvonne Garcia with Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG), which helps the older population over 60 and the disabled and their families with Medicaid enrollment, wants to ensure people in similar situations as Quintanilla find out about the upcoming enrollment deadline.
“The application is 20 pages. So it can be time-consuming. It can be confusing. We are certified to assist with applications,” Garcia said.
She said she worries that some people may have ignored the yellow packet they’ve received in the mail.
Changes in federal law now require Medicaid recipients to register to determine their eligibility, or they may no longer qualify for the program or could see a reduction in other benefits.
AACOG can help guide seniors and families of those who are disabled to navigate through the lengthy process. Call 210-477-3275, and for more information, click here.