The ending of the Medicaid continuous registration policy marks a massive health coverage modification, rivaling the first open enrollment duration of the Affordable Care Act—and there is a bunch that employers can do to help their affected employees via this move.
This shift is happening because states paused Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility assessments during the pandemic, as needed in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. That suggests that people covered by Medicaid and CHIP could contend that health coverage even if their income or other possibilities changed since the pandemic.
Currently, as states return to normal operations, they’re continuing these reviews and, over the next year, will determine whether each individual receiving Medicaid is still eligible to do so, potentially forcing many employees and their families to relinquish health coverage. The Kaiser Family Foundation calculates as many as 14.2 million people may lose Medicaid coverage in the unwinding period. Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calculates that as many as 4 million people could achieve coverage through employer-sponsored health programs.
Employers can help their employees during the transition by helping them comprehend the benefits of maintaining health coverage and supplying information on how to do so, whether through employer programs or other sources. Here are three ways employers can support employees work through this transition and keep health care plans.
Increasing awareness about upcoming Medicaid redeterminations, the procedure that states use to make sure that Medicaid enrollees persist to be eligible for Medicaid coverage, is vital for workers who may not be aware of the changes. By proactively sharing with employees, employers can demonstrate their dedication to employee well-being and foster a supportive work atmosphere. Encouraging employees with Medicaid coverage to modernize their contact information with the State Medicaid Agency alongside be on the watch for a Medicaid renewal is a proactive way to help workers navigate this shift.
Delivering flexible enrollment opportunities for employees who are no longer qualified for Medicaid demonstrates a commitment to worker well-being and can help increase employee happiness and retention. By obtaining Medicaid coverage loss as a reason to register in employer-sponsored insurance outside of annual coverage election time and providing employees more than the required 60 days to enlist, employers can alleviate some of the stress and tension employees may face during this transition period. Suggesting enrollment flexibility if individuals and their dependents fail Medicaid coverage on different dates also provides that employees feel supported and appreciated, which can lead to improved loyalty and efficiency.
Supporting employees transition to other coverage options when they are no longer qualified for Medicaid can lead to a healthier workforce and undervalue disruptions in productivity due to health-related problems. Remind employees that if they are not eligible for employer-sponsored insurance, they may qualify for free or highly funded health insurance through the ACA Marketplace. Please direct them to healthcare.gov or their state-based Marketplace for extensive resources on available coverage choices. Employers can also utilize this period to evaluate their own possibilities for offering coverage to their workforce, whether standard employer plans or the lesser-known health repayment arrangement possibilities.
By sustaining their employees during this transition, employers donate to a healthier, more stable workforce and improve the well-being of workers and their households. A well-informed and insured staff improves productivity, assurance, and loyalty, which are important for long-term business win. Taking proactive actions and offering support during this time of coverage transitions illustrates commitment to employees, fostering a positive work atmosphere and a robust, thriving relations.