Medicaid Proposed Rule Aims to Ease the Enrollment Process

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The Biden administration on Wednesday proposed a rule to overhaul Medicaid’s enrollment processes, aimed at establishing more consistency across state programs, while making it easier for beneficiaries to get and retain health coverage.

The changes would standardize Medicaid’s eligibility and enrollment policies, and include limiting the requirement that individuals’ renew benefit eligibility to once every 12 months. The renewal process isn’t currently uniform across all states.

The proposed rule would also give applicants 30 days to respond to requests for information and would set consistent renewal processes across states. Currently no standard guidance requires consistent time frames for applicants to return eligibility information or for states to respond. The lack of standard guidance may lead to “unnecessary delay in processing applications and renewals,” according to the rule, which is set to be published Sept. 7 in the Federal Register. The rule will undergo a 60-day public-comment period before it takes effect, but compliance by states may be delayed.

The goal of the changes is to help individuals retain Medicaid, a federal-state health insurance for low-income people and the disabled, federal officials said.

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