FYI upcoming Medicaid changes | Guest View
Last updated 3/8/2023 at 11:57am
On April 1, the Washington State Health Care Authority anticipates returning to normal operations and will begin to mail renewal notices to confirm the eligibility of Medicaid (Apple Health in Washington state) recipients in Washington state. This is after nearly three years where Apple Health members had continuous enrollment due to the Federal Public Health Emergency in 2020.
As a result, an estimated 300,000 Washingtonians will be required to complete a renewal form that will determine if they still qualify for Apple Health coverage or if they need to shop for a new health plan.
Here’s what you need to know about recertification and how it could affect you.
Why is recertification happening now?
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals provided their annual income information to confirm eligibility during their annual renewal of Apple Health coverage. However, that process was temporarily waived under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This allowed individuals covered by Apple Health to continue receiving coverage during the COVID-19 public health emergency period regardless of changes to their income, assets or other eligibility criteria. At the end of December 2022, the federal Consolidated Appropriation Act, 2023 separated the declaration of Public Health Emergency from the continuous enrollment extension set for Medicaid.
How does this impact me?
If you or your family are currently covered under Apple Health, you may be required to go through this renewal process within the next 12 months. Your exact review timeline will be based on your current renewal end date and when you last supplied your eligibility information. This recertification or redetermination process will include a review of the annual income of the individuals or families receiving Apple Health. Those who still meet the eligibility requirements will be able to retain their existing coverage.
Three ways to prepare for the recertification process
Normally, Apple Health renewal takes place every year. But if you started getting Apple Health during the COVID-19 pandemic, this may be the first time you’re being asked to do this. To help prepare and to simplify the process, take these steps:
• Update your contact information: Ensure that your mailing address, phone number, email, and other contact information are up to date in your Washington Healthplanfinder account. This will enable them to contact you about your Apple Health eligibility.
• Check your mail frequently: You should watch for mail alerting you to take action to renew your coverage. If you receive a notice, it will let you know what you need to do next.
• Complete your renewal: If you receive a request from Washington, reply right away to avoid any delay or interruption in your coverage. You may be asked for information about your income, ages of household members, or citizenship status.
What to do if you lose Apple Health coverage eligibility
If you are one of the 300,000 who could lose coverage in this process due to not meeting the requirements, you will have a number of options available to you.
Upon losing coverage, a special enrollment period will open to allow you to purchase other plans, such as Cascade Care, a Washington plan subsidizing individual and family plans on the Health Insurance Marketplace Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
These plans are an affordable, comprehensive option that can cover prescription drugs, doctor visits, urgent care, hospital visits, and more.
To learn more about Marketplace plans, visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org or HealthCare.gov.
For more information, view the Apple Health and the public health emergency at http://bit.ly/3KWmLTF.
To learn more about Apple Health and the public health emergency (PHE) period, visit the Public Health Emergency FAQ at https://bit.ly/3IRjrXm
Community Health Plan of Washington is a not-for-profit that serves over 300,000 people across the state through Apple Health (Medicaid), Medicare and Individual & Family insurance plans. To learn more, visit chpw.org.