September 2020 Medicaid Changes

Parallon’s eligibility and advocacy team continues to monitor the state of Medicaid eligibility as impacted by COVID-19. Notably, the approval of Medicaid expansion in Missouri and Oklahoma appears to be building hope in non-expansion states and several groups are forming in support, especially in the southern states. Additionally, the country is seeing the uninsured rates in non-expansion states increase to numbers we have not seen in years.

Below we breakdown the latest changes for September 2020, federal Medicaid process updates and state agency closures.*

Here is the September 2020 Medicaid State of the Union:

Alaska Medicaid Updates

Anyone currently on Medicaid will stay active without having to renew until next year. Additionally, offices are staffing in person but most of the offices will only have the public come in person by appointment only.

California Medicaid Updates

The state approved immediate enrollment flexibility for presumptive Medicaid and using telephonic signatures for those with COVID-19.

Colorado Medicaid Updates

Adams, Arapahoe, Archuleta, Boulder, Denver, Eagle, Jefferson, Lake, and San Juan county buildings are closed and is not accessible for the public, but all staff members are working remotely. Despite this, the state appears to be processing our applications efficiently with the exception of Jefferson County.

Florida Medicaid Updates

Offices are closed to the public but call center and online application processing remains in place. Florida has the second highest uninsured rate that increased to 25% from the 13% in 2018.

Georgia Medicaid Updates

The state has hired two medical examiners to review disability cases which should speed up any delays occurring over the past year

New enrollment figures show that Medicaid membership grew by 23,000, while PeachCare, saw enrollment rise by 14,000. Although enrollment is growing, Georgia has the fourth highest uninsured rate at 23%.

Idaho Medicaid Updates

Other than the approved 1135 waiver several months ago, there have not been any additional flexibilities for the Medicaid process in Idaho.

Indiana Medicaid Updates

The state published a memo outlining relaxed rules stating "Eligibility will be determined based on the answers given on the application and will not require supporting documentation".              

Kansas Medicaid Updates

Medicaid expansion was stuck in the Senate but eventually did not pass the senate therefore the state will not pass Medicaid expansion in 2020.                                                                               

Kentucky Medicaid Updates

Kentucky has extended PE coverage to 9/30/20 for individuals who are over income but uninsured. On September 1, 2020, Molina Healthcare announced that it has completed its acquisition of Passport Health’s Kentucky Medicaid and DSNP lines of business.  They agreed to purchase Passport Health Plan who was shut out of a new state Medicaid contract in KY. Molina was one of five insurance companies awarded contracts worth nearly $8B a year to manage most of Kentucky’s Medicaid business.

Louisiana Medicaid Updates

Medicaid members who are approved on or after March 18 for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will remain open for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period. The Medicaid Eligibility Verification System (MEVS) will not show an end date for EMS coverage as it normally would.

Mississippi Medicaid Updates

A push for Medicaid expansion is happening in several southern states but there appears to be an extra push in Mississippi, led by advocacy groups such as Mississippi Health Advocacy Program and the Mississippi Center for Justice.

Missouri Medicaid Updates

Medicaid enrollment numbers have jumped nearly 100,000 people since COVID-19. July 2021 Medicaid expansion will begin and its predicted Medicaid enrollment will increase to about 230,000 people.

Nevada Medicaid Updates

DWSS lobbies are beginning to open back up but still limiting face to face appointments and still processing everything mostly online. No electronic signature is required but a paper authorized rep forms must be signed.

New Hampshire Medicaid Updates

The state is allowing in-person office hours for emergencies (homeless/food needs) and by appointment only. Everything else is handled via phone or email.

North Carolina Medicaid Updates

The federal Declaration of Emergency that was scheduled to end July 25, 2020 but is now extended through Oct. 25, 2020. NC Medicaid has extended its COVID-19 related temporary Clinical Coverage Policy provisions to Dec. 31, 2020.

Oklahoma Medicaid Updates

Oklahoma voters passed Medicaid expansion on June 30. The amendment requires the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to submit a SPA and other necessary documentation to CMS within 90 days of the ballot measure’s approval and for the expansion of coverage to begin no later than July 1, 2021.

Texas Medicaid Updates

With COVID-19 cases continuing to increase creating an unprecedented amount of people losing jobs the uninsured rate is seeing its highest percentage in years. Since May Texas uninsured rate rose to 29% making it the highest of all 50 states including District of Columbia.

Utah Medicaid Updates

A new COVID-19 uninsured test coverage is effective beginning June 1. The new program is designed for patients who do not qualify for regular Medicaid. It is retroactive, but does not cover inpatient stays. Patients must not be eligible for HPE, be a US citizen, Utah resident and have no health insurance.

Virginia Medicaid Updates

Since January 2019, 452,000 people have gained coverage due to Medicaid expansion. More than 100,000 recipients enrolled since March due to COVID-19.


*This article was published September 30, 2020.