Knowing you can get the care you need without worrying how to pay for it is important for peace of mind, especially during times of uncertainty.

During the COVID-19 pandemic many Americans were protected from losing their health insurance by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). But now that the declared public health emergency has ended, Medicaid (called Medical Assistance in Minnesota) eligibility requirements are changing. These changes have millions of Medicaid (Medical Assistance) recipients wondering about next steps and coverage impacts.

We’ll explain the unwinding of the FFCRA’s Medicaid (Medical Assistance) continuous coverage requirement, changes to eligibility requirements and what that could mean for your health insurance coverage.

Medicaid (Medical Assistance) expansion during the COVID-19 public health emergency

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, the FFCRA let states change their Medicaid (Medical Assistance) enrollment requirements to help people keep their health insurance. These expansions offered a safety net for people who lost their jobs and/or their health insurance during the pandemic.

As Medicaid (Medical Assistance) became more accessible, enrollment across the U.S. boomed by nearly 30%, contributing to record-low uninsured rates. Once enrolled in Medical Assistance, the FFCRA protected people from losing health insurance. To get more federal funding, the FFCRA required state Medicaid (Medical Assistance) programs to keep members enrolled until the COVID-19 public health emergency ended. These protections are commonly referred to as the Medicaid (Medical Assistance) continuous coverage requirement.

But at the end of 2022, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, which separated the continuous coverage requirement from the COVID-19 public health emergency. Congress agreed to end continuous coverage on March 31, 2023 – setting the stage for big Medicaid (Medical Assistance) changes.

How these changes impact Medicaid (Medical Assistance) recipients

On April 1, 2023, states began disenrolling people who are no longer eligible for Medicaid (Medical Assistance). But eligibility, renewal systems, staffing capacity and preparation vary across states and can impact when health insurance may end.

States are providing outreach, education and enrollment assistance to ensure those who remain eligible for Medicaid (Medical Assistance) are able to keep their health insurance. They’re also helping those who are no longer eligible switch to other health insurance before they lose coverage. Watch for communications from your state Medicaid (Medical Assistance) program for the best information about your health insurance and what to do next.

What will happen to Medicaid (Medical Assistance)?

Medicaid (Medical Assistance) isn’t going anywhere, but you’ll need to meet certain eligibility requirements to renew your health insurance moving forward. Eligibility for Medical Assistance depends on many factors including age, income, family size and if you’re pregnant or have a disability. And you must show you’re still eligible on a regular basis. But these requirements can vary depending on the state that you live in. Check with your state’s local Medical Assistance office to see if you are eligible for benefits.

Your guide for 2024 Medical Assistance eligibility and income limits in Minnesota