Illinois health experts are working to ensure that everyone enrolled in Medicaid is aware that the renewal process is underway for the first time in three years.
“During the public health emergency, their review process has been put on hold. And now that the public health emergency is over, that usual process of verifying every year that people who receive Medicaid are eligible to stay on Medicaid is underway,” said Dr. Derek Robinson, vice president and physician- leader of Blue Cross and Blue. Illinois Shield.
Dr. Markeita Moore, a pediatrician with the Advocate Medical Group in Evergreen Park, asked the families of his patients if they were aware that Medicaid eligibility checks were being carried out.
“Some of them knew about it and some didn’t. Some of them haven’t provided updated contact information because they’ve never gone through this type of process before,” Moore said.
The process is called redetermination. About 3.9 million people on Medicaid in Illinois must verify their eligibility or risk losing coverage.
“That’s about 1.6 million children who could be affected,” Moore said.
The renewal process begins with a letter that you should receive in the mail from the State of Illinois.
If a “Part A” form is inside, the state has already verified your eligibility and no action needs to be taken. The participant will automatically be re-enrolled in a Medicaid plan.
“One of the benefits the Department of Health and Family Services has taken is using certain programs that verify that individuals already meet Medicaid eligibility criteria, based on other services they are already receiving,” Robinson said.
Robinson is most concerned about people receiving “Part B” forms, which require documents to be submitted to the state.
“You can either do it over the phone or by mail or they can provide that information via the web, but it’s really important that people don’t miss it because we want to make sure people maintain access to their health insurance benefits,” Robinson said.
The state began sending out these letters in April for the first batch of renewals. If a participant has not yet received a letter in the mail, their renewal date is likely later in the year.
“The best thing customers can do is be ready to renew by going to ‘Manage My Case’ at www.abe.illinois.gov,” said Sergio Obregon, Special Assistant to the Director of the Department of Health and Illinois family services. . “They can verify their address. They can check their renewal date.
Illinois has decided to spread out its Medicaid renewals over a 12-month period, so there are multiple renewal dates within that period.
“The state set it up that way so that we don’t have masses of individuals falling off cover and still needing cover. So it happens, and it happens over that 12 month period, which I think is a really smart approach,” Robinson said.
Although the schedule includes a due date, with the first being June 1, 2023, the state offers a grace period of approximately two weeks after each due date.
“Technically they will have until June 15 to submit something electronically or over the phone, or to the Community Resource Center for Families, operated by the Department of Social Services, or if they mail it, it must reach us by the 15th to be registered,” Obregon said.
“If we don’t have that by the 15the, on the 16th, we will start this case going through the cancellation process. And if this case goes through the cancellation process, the first loss of coverage date will be effective July 1, 2023,” Obregon said.
The most important thing a Medicaid participant can do right now to make sure they don’t risk losing their coverage is to make sure their mailing address is correct.
“It is critical that clients update their contact information on file with the Illinois Medicaid program so that redetermination documents are sent to the correct and current address,” Obregon said.