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Administration reiterates commitment amid major changes to Medicaid

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh speaks Wednesday in Butler.

BUTLER – Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Dr. Val Arkoosh joined Pennsylvania Insurance Department Policy Director Katie Merritt and representatives from Independence Health System on Wednesday to highlight how the Shapiro Administration and community service centers are collaborating to support Pennsylvanians through federal changes to Medicaid and CHIP renewal requirements so they can complete their renewals, protect their health, and stay covered.

“We want to make sure that every Pennsylvanian who is eligible for Medicaid stays on Medicaid,” said Secretary Arkoosh. “If you or a someone you know has their health coverage through the state, please make sure their address and all contact information is up to date with DHS so everyone is ready to renew and stay covered when it’s time.”

The federal public health emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowed for individuals to remain enrolled in Medicaid even if they became ineligible, except in certain circumstances. This is also known as the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. A federal law ended the continuous coverage requirement on March 31. Now, all Pennsylvanians receiving Medicaid or CHIP must once again complete their annual renewal when it is due to determine if they are still eligible for coverage. No one will lose Medicaid or CHIP coverage without first having an opportunity to renew their coverage or update their information.

To make sure they are getting all updates about their renewal and benefits, Pennsylvanians should make sure their contact information is up to date with DHS. They can do this and also report changes in their personal circumstances and check their renewal date:

Online at www.dhs.pa.gov/COMPASS

Via the free myCOMPASS PA mobile app

By calling 215-560-7226 (or 1-877-395-8930 if outside Philadelphia)

Renewals will be completed over 12 months through April 2024, usually at a person’s normal time of renewal. If a person is found ineligible for coverage or does not complete their renewal on time, their Medicaid coverage will end. Pennsylvanians who are no longer eligible for Medicaid will be referred to other sources of affordable medical coverage, like CHIP and Pennie, so they have no lapse in coverage.

“The Insurance Department, along with Governor Shapiro and his entire administration, have made it a priority to make health insurance coverage in the Commonwealth affordable and easy to obtain,” said PID Policy Director Katie Merritt. “Our commitment to assuring access to affordable healthcare coverage stems from the firm belief that no one should have to choose between obtaining healthcare or securing other basic needs. Today we are here to encourage those who may be in a period of coverage transition to shop for coverage on Pennsylvania’s state marketplace, Pennie. More than 90 percent of Pennie customers qualify for enhanced savings to lower their monthly premium and many people can find plans for less than $10 a month.”

“Independence Health System applauds the efforts of Governor Shapiro, Secretary Arkoosh and the state Department of Human Services for their advocacy and support of Pennsylvanians facing federal changes to Medicaid and CHIP renewal requirements. It is essential that providers and governmental leaders work together to communicate the need for timely renewal and outline the process to ensure continued coverage of those eligible for these important programs. We are honored that Independence Health System and its Butler Memorial Hospital were chosen to help in this important endeavor,” said Karen Allen, President of Butler & Clarion Hospital of Independence Health System.

To learn more about Medicaid and CHIP renewals and to access educational resources, visit www.dhs.pa.gov/staycovered.

For more information on health insurance options available to Pennsylvanians, visit www.pa.gov/healthcare.

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