Medicaid renewal process resumes, putting thousands of Illinoisans at risk of losing coverage

Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged the public to check with family and friends to make sure they know about the upcoming renewal due dates, which will be issued monthly now until mid-2024. Most Medicaid users in Illinois are unaware they need to reapply.

SHARE Medicaid renewal process resumes, putting thousands of Illinoisans at risk of losing coverage
Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged the public to tell family and friends about the upcoming renewal deadlines for Medicaid users. Pritzker spoke at Steinmetz High School in Chicago on Monday, May 1, 2023.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged the public to tell family and friends about the upcoming renewal deadlines for Medicaid users. Pritzker spoke Monday at Steinmetz High School in Chicago.

Illinois.gov livestream

Half a million Illinois Medicaid users could lose coverage in the coming months as a national auto-renewal program ends and they are required to reapply for the first time in three years.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged the public to check with family and friends to make sure they know about the upcoming renewal due dates, which will be issued monthly now until mid-2024.

Most Medicaid users in Illinois are unaware they need to reapply.

The first batch of renewal notices was mailed this week. They are due June 1. If residents don’t reapply, they will lose coverage the following month.

“Every Medicaid recipient should keep a close eye on their mailboxes to see if they were automatically renewed or if they need to fill out and return their renewal form,” Pritzker said Monday at Steinmetz High School in Chicago.

Medicaid users can check if they need to reapply for coverage at abe.illinois.gov. They can also check their renewal due date and update their mailing address.

Medicaid renewals were temporarily paused by Congress at the start of the pandemic. But as COVID-19 emergency declarations ended this year, Medicaid users in all 50 states must now reapply to renew coverage.

Many states have one deadline when all residents must renew coverage. One federal estimate expects 17% of Medicaid users to get booted. That’s about 700,000 users in Illinois.

An example letter that Medicaid users can expect in the mail was shared Monday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office.

An example letter that Medicaid users can expect in the mail was shared Monday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office.

Illinois.gov livestream

But Illinois is avoiding a “coverage cliff” scenario, Pritzker said, by issuing renewal deadlines on a rolling basis through mid-2024. After the state’s effort to publicize the renewal deadlines, it expects to lose about 384,000 of the state’s 3.9 million Medicaid users.

Illinoisans on Medicaid grew during the pandemic from 2.9 million users, thanks to the federal “continuous coverage” law that bypassed the need for renewals.

In the first round of renewals mailed this week, about 113,600 cases will be reviewed in June by the Illinois Department of Health Care and Family Services, Pritzker said. About 51% of those Medicaid users will be enrolled automatically, but the remaining customers will need to reapply for coverage.

For help with a renewal, call 1-800-843-6154 or visit medicaid.illinois.gov.

Scammers have targeted the Medicaid renewal process. The state said it will never ask someone for money to renew or apply for Medicaid.

The state’s publicity campaign, “Ready to Renew,” began in March.

“We are reaching every corner of Illinois so no resident is caught by surprise,” Pritzker said.

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