Medicaid Expansion & The End of Continuous Coverage in Texas
What does unwinding continuous coverage have to do with Medicaid expansion?
- During the pandemic, Congress put in place continuous coverage protections to ensure that Medicaid enrollees were able to keep their health coverage without needing to re-enroll.
- These protections will end as soon as April 1st, 2023.
- States will begin reviewing the eligibility of every person enrolled in Medicaid, and drop coverage for those who no longer qualify or do not provide updated information.
- 514,000 Texans are now at risk of losing their health coverage and access to the care they need to get and stay healthy.
- The stakes are not the same throughout the country. Those living in Texas will have fewer options for affordable health coverage than their peer states that have expanded Medicaid.
- Many of the Texans who are disenrolled from Medicaid coverage will be at high risk of falling into the coverage gap and becoming uninsured.
- 771,000 people are already in the Medicaid gap waiting for legislator action. With the end of continuous coverage, the situation for the uninsured will further worsen.
- This situation could have been avoided if Texas policymakers had mobilized to expand Medicaid sooner.
Why does Medicaid expansion matter to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN)?
ACS CAN is dedicated to improving the lives of people with cancer and their families through advocacy, to ensure everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. Expanding access to Medicaid is a critical component in the fight against cancer and toward achieving health equity. Two million people in 11 states across the country are living without health insurance simply because they live in a state that has refused to expand Medicaid. These people fall into the “coverage gap” between qualifying for Medicaid and being able to afford private insurance. The vast majority are people of color. Interruptions in insurance, like those that will result from the unwinding of continuous coverage, can have catastrophic effects on cancer patients who cannot delay treatment. Access to affordable coverage like Medicaid significantly improves chances of diagnosing, treating, and surviving cancer. Medicaid expansion matters to ACS CAN because it helps people living in the gap get the lifesaving care they need.