A chart shows the number and type of Alaska residents receiving Medicaid coverage based on either 2022 Alaska Medicaid Claims data (yellow) or 2021 U.S. Census data (orange). More than 260,000 residents are currently enrolled, about 30,000 more than 2020, due to a federal provision that kept states from removing people during the COVID-19 pandemic. That provision ended April 1 and Alaska officials are scheduled review eligibility of all residents enrolled during the next 12 months. (Alaska Division of Public Assistance)

A chart shows the number and type of Alaska residents receiving Medicaid coverage based on either 2022 Alaska Medicaid Claims data (yellow) or 2021 U.S. Census data (orange). More than 260,000 residents are currently enrolled, about 30,000 more than 2020, due to a federal provision that kept states from removing people during the COVID-19 pandemic. That provision ended April 1 and Alaska officials are scheduled review eligibility of all residents enrolled during the next 12 months. (Alaska Division of Public Assistance)

Department of Health to reevaluate every Medicaid beneficiary

The state has to begin redetermination for everyone receiving benefits by March 31

The federally required annual Medicaid renewal process, paused during the COVID-19 pandemic, restarted April 1. Over the course of the next year, until March 31, the State Department of Health’s Division of Public Assistance will be reaching out to households to verify information to renew Medicaid coverage.

During a Public Health ECHO on Wednesday, Department Director of Communications Shirley Young said the state has to begin redetermination for everyone receiving benefits by March 31, and those redeterminations need to be completed by the end of June 2024.

The division is urging all those covered by Medicaid, including DenaliCare or Denali KidCare, to ensure their contact information is up to date.

According to a release from the department, Medicaid recipients can ensure they’re ready for renewals by calling the Medicaid Information Update Hotline at 1-833-441-1870 and by checking their mail regularly and responding quickly.

The release says that 260,000 renewals will need to processed in the 12-month period. The caseload will be ramped up, starting with 11,000 renewals per month from April to June, then building to 27,000 renewals per month from September through next May.

In this pursuit, the division has hired 35 new staff to aid in the process, and other Public Health staff will be assisting with the Medicaid Information Update Hotline.

For recipients who are determined to be no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage, the release says they will receive mail notification at least 10 days before the end of coverage referring them to HealthCare.gov. Losing Medicaid coverage qualifies consumers immediately to enroll in a marketplace plan without waiting for the annual enrollment period.

For more information, visit MedicaidRenewals.alaska.gov.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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