Did you know automatic renewal for Medicaid, Essential Plan and Child Health Plus ended as the federal public health emergency put in place for COVID ended? You could be at risk of losing your health insurance coverage if you do not take steps to renew. Deadlines for renewal are based on a person’s enrollment end date and can range from June 30, 2023, through May 31, 2024.
It is important to pay attention to alerts and letters sent to you regarding your health insurance so you can renew as soon as possible and avoid a lapse in coverage. You do not want to find out that your coverage has ended while waiting to see the doctor when sick or in need of a prescription at the pharmacy.
In a 2022 national survey of U.S. adults ages 18 to 64 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 62 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries were unaware they would need to renew their coverage once the public health emergency ended. This is why state and consumer advocacy organizations are working hard to ensure that everyone who is currently enrolled and continues to be eligible for health insurance renews their coverage before it ends.
On Long Island, the Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council (NSHC), in collaboration with Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services and the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, are spearheading a grassroots initiative called, Keep LI Covered, to inform Long Islanders about these upcoming changes and how to stay enrolled in health insurance. NSHC oversees the Long Island Health Collaborative.
Tips for Staying Enrolled
- Sign up for text alerts from the NY State of Health so you don’t miss important health insurance updates, including when it is time to renew coverage. To subscribe, text START to 1-866-988-0327.
- Make sure your mailing address is up to date, including phone number and email address so they can contact you about your health insurance. To update your information, you can call NY State of Health at 1-855-355-5777 or call Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council for assistance at 631-435-3000.
- When it is time to renew your health insurance, you will receive a letter from NY State of Health or a renewal packet, if you are enrolled through your county’s Local Department of Social Services in Nassau or Suffolk counties. The letter/packet will let you know what you need to do to renew your coverage and how much time you have to respond. It is important you follow the instructions right away.
As of September 30, 2023, the NYS Department of Health reported 78 percent of Long Islanders enrolled in Medicaid renewed coverage by their deadline dates. Of those enrolled in Essential Plan, 73 percent renewed their coverage on time and 93 percent of children enrolled in Child Health Plus had coverage renewed before their deadlines. However, there are many more people that need renew their health insurance coverage before June 30, 2024.
New York State Department of Health figures published in Newsday note that around 81,000 people in Nassau County and roughly 102,000 in Suffolk County obtained coverage as a result of legislation enacted during the public health emergency that increased eligibility and enrollment during the pandemic. Many Long Islanders could be impacted by the end of automatic renewals and potentially lose their health insurance coverage if they don’t take action to renew on time.
For more information on enrollment and renewal assistance, call 631-435-3000 today.