200,000 Nevadans impacted by Medicaid changes

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 3:52 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Imagine waiting in line for a prescription and, as a Medicaid enrollee, being told it cannot be filled as you’ve been dropped from the program.

“So, they are going to fill their prescription, or they are going to the doctor’s office,” says Alex Sampson President of Health Benefits. “And they are noticing they can’t get medical services or fill prescriptions. So, it is becoming a big deal.”

What’s happening? While these people qualified for Medicaid during the pandemic, they may no longer be an enrollee as the qualifying income levels have been reduced to pre-pandemic levels.

Medicaid started sending out re-determination packets last month asking enrollees to fill out forms to assess if they still qualify for coverage. They may not be under new guidelines.

But there is an option for them. It’s Nevada’s Health Insurance Exchange call Health Link, which offers subsidized health insurance for those who qualify.

“Nevada Health Link makes it so that you can’t be spending more than 9.5% about of your income to buy health insurance,” says Sampson. “And so, they do make it more affordable for just about everybody. And if they haven’t seen it yet, it is worth jumping on and shopping.

Keep in mind unlike Medicaid, there may be co-pays and deductibles on Health Link plans. And a current doctor may not be on insurance coverage selected on Health Link.

Sampson is what is known as a broker. There are plenty of people like him throughout the state who can help navigate the system. But there is also an 800 number.

It’s recommended responding to Medicaid and shop for insurance through Health Link simultaneously to avoid a lapse in coverage.

For those already on Health Link, a letter indicating more information is needed for continued coverage and subsidies may arrive in the mailbox. There is a time frame to respond as well. And adverse action could be taken if it is not met.

There’s a 60-day time limit to respond to the re-determination packet as well as qualifying for subsidized medical insurance through Health Link. Failure to do so would mean going without subsidized health insurance until open enrollment next fall.

For more information, click here: https://www.nevadahealthlink.com/, and here: https://dhhs.nv.gov/Reports/Press_Releases/2023/Estimated_200,000_Nevadans_will_be_impacted_by_Medicaid_eligibility_renewals/