Medical assistance to begin renewal cycle

With pandemic-era policies expiring, changes are coming to the annual enrollment process.
Published: May. 9, 2023 at 7:03 AM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the renewal processes for Minnesota’s Medicaid and Minnesota Care programs were put on hold.

People enrolled in medical assistance programs didn’t need to renew or re-enroll in those programs for the past three years, but with pandemic-era policies expiring, changes are coming to the annual enrollment process.

“The public health emergency is officially ending on May 11, and our staff has been gearing up with some of those changes that are out here,” said Jason Swanson, the Executive Director of The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging’s (MNRAAA). “[We’re] ready to help those that may have some differences as this health emergency comes down.”

Participation in these programs increased by more than 30 percent since the stalling of the renewal cycle, and experts say that the re-evaluation of program participants may find themselves no longer qualifying for the programs.

“Given the fact that they’re maintaining the asset levels, I don’t think that might happen right away, but it could if someone’s income changed or their living situation changed,” said Robin Fortune, also of MNRAAA. “It could certainly be possible that they would no longer be eligible.”

The MNRAAA estimates that one in four Minnesotans receive health care coverage through these state programs, and says that it’s a group effort across the state to restart a process three years in the making.

“This is a huge undertaking, this unwinding for the entire state,” said Fortune. “Working with anyone that works with folks that are on medical assistance or on Minnesota Care, really are working together to make sure that that information gets out.”