By: Amy Copperman
MLPB Executive Director
June 27, 2023
Since the end of the COVID-related Public Health Emergency in May, the redetermination process for Medicaid has been proceeding at a fast clip with profound implications. More than one million Americans have already lost their coverage since the process began. The New York Times reported recently that most were dropped for procedural reasons, rather than because a state determined affirmatively that the recipient was no longer financially eligible.
Medicaid, our country’s health insurance program for millions of low-income Americans, offers so much more than affordable sick care. Through a waiver process, states have the option to use Medicaid funding to implement a wide range of innovations focused on social care for the whole patent.
The MLPB model is a prime example of one such innovation, and we are proud to partner with Medicaid waiver-funded entities in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including Community Care Cooperative, the Boston Accountable Care Organization, Steward Medicaid Care Network, Integra Community Care Network, CharterCare Health Partners, and Thundermist Health Center.
These health care organizations are breaking new ground with their approach to social care for Medicaid recipients. Medicaid provides an opportunity to bring health promoting strategies into the health care space, to treat the whole patient, and to move the needle on population-wide health. But patients don’t get access to these expansive services unless they are on Medicaid. Those who are losing Medicaid are also losing out on the opportunity to be treated by health care teams who understand that food insecurity, housing needs, systemic racism and poverty are all intrinsically connected to health. And no one is measuring the impact of this loss.
This is no time to backslide on building care systems that broaden the idea of what is truly needed to become a healthful society. MLPB supports the Biden administration which has implored states to slow down the Medicaid redetermination process. There is time to make sure every step is taken to protect eligible individuals and families from procedural terminations.