Kentuckians who received benefits during the pandemic must participate in the annual renewal
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 9, 2023) – Due to action by Congress, today, Gov. Andy Beshear reminded Kentuckians the federal pandemic benefit that made it easier for low-income families to sign up for free health care is changing. Starting this year, Medicaid enrollees must once again participate in an annual renewal to determine if they are eligible for Medicaid.
Kentucky will initiate annual renewal notices beginning in April 2023 for those with a renewal date of May 31, 2023. Renewals will continue throughout the year and will vary depending on an individual’s date of enrollment in the program.
The Governor first provided this information to Kentuckians Feb. 2, 2023, as part of his standing Team Kentucky update media briefing. The Governor stated, “The 260,000 Kentuckians who were able to sign up for Medicaid during the pandemic will need to transition to one of three health care options: regular Medicaid, Medicare or kynect.”
“We want everyone to pay close attention to important changes coming soon and take action to make sure you choose the best health care option for you and your family,” Gov. Beshear said. “My administration as well as managed care organizations will be reaching out with more information and will be sharing updates.”
When the public health emergency was declared in January 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, certain Medicaid and Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements were eased, including the need to determine program eligibility every 12 months. The sign-up process was also made faster and easier to help people, some of whom were newly unemployed, get assistance more quickly.
Kentuckians who may be affected by the change in federal law include those who have attained employment or new employment at a higher wage, are eligible for another type of Medicaid coverage or are aging into Medicare.
Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander said, “Our goal is for people to be aware that their coverage is going to change; what steps to take to make sure they continue to have coverage; where to get help, if help is needed; and when to take action.”
The Governor’s administration is planning outreach efforts to enrollees in multiple ways. The Department for Medicaid Services is also partnering with Medicaid-managed care plans, community health centers and other providers and advocacy organizations that serve Medicaid members. Medicaid is also collaborating with the state-based marketplace to help people get signed up for coverage.
Medicaid renewal occurs throughout the year, and enrollees will be asked to verify information when their renewal month arrives. If they are no longer eligible for coverage, they will be notified and given appeal rights. They will also be provided with options for coverage, including signing up for a Qualified Health Plan on the state-based marketplace, kynect.
Kentuckians who may be impacted will receive a summary of approaching changes and reminders to update their mailing address, phone number and email address as soon as possible. This may be done on the kynect.ky.gov site or by calling kynect at 855-4kynect (855-459-6328).
A new website for all things related to these renewals, as well as new eligibility determinations and other information about Medicaid, is now live. Visit MedicaidUnwinding.ky.gov for more information.
Medicaid members can also get help from a kynector or licensed insurance agent online or by calling the number listed above. Kentuckians who are 65 and older may call the State Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) Hotline at 877-293-7447 (option #2). They can also call the Department for Aging and Independent Living at 502-564-6930 and ask for a SHIP counselor to learn about Medicare options.
According to the new federal law, all Medicaid renewals as well as eligibility determinations must be initiated by March 31, 2024 and completed by May 31, 2024. Kentucky will initiate annual renewals in April 2023 for those with a renewal date of May 31, 2023. Renewals will vary depending on the date of enrollment in the program. Members will receive a notice about 60 days before their renewal date. If their information is correct in kynect, the enrollee will not need to take any action until contacted by the Department for Medicaid Services about renewal.