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CMS Releases State Guidance on Maintaining Medicaid, CHIP Coverage

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released two guidance documents to help states maintain Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage as they return to normal operations. CMS previously extended the timeframe to return to normal operations from six months to a year after the COVID-19 public health emergency ends.

Many strategies outlined in the documents require support from organizations that work with Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries, such as community-based organizations, application assisters, health care providers, and managed care plans.

Medicaid Guidance

The first document, titled “Strategies States and the U.S. Territories Can Adopt to Maintain Coverage of Eligible Individuals as They Return to Normal Operations,” recommends strategies in seven categories to maintain Medicaid enrollment:

  • strengthen renewal processes;
  • update mailing addresses to minimize returned mail and maintain continuous coverage;
  • improve consumer outreach, communication, and assistance;
  • promote seamless coverage transitions;
  • improve coverage retention;
  • address potential strains on eligibility and enrollment workforce; and
  • enhance oversight of eligibility and enrollment operations.

Children’s Health Coverage Guidance

The second guidance document, titled “Connecting Kids to Coverage; State Outreach, Enrollment and Retention Strategies,” recommends strategies to maintain children’s enrollment in Medicaid or CHIP, including:

  • form strategic partnerships;
  • provide enrollment assistance;
  • use smart messaging and layers communication approaches;
  • use technology to make enrollment and renewal easier;
  • collect and analyze data; and
  • actively look for opportunities to improve policy and operations.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions

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About the Author

Julie Kozminski is a policy manager at America's Essential Hospitals.

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