March 30, 2023
Millions of students across the country who currently rely on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for health insurance may soon be without coverage.
Since March 2020 – the start of the pandemic-related Public Health Emergency – children and families enrolled in Medicaid have been able to stay covered without completing renewal paperwork. However, beginning April 1, continuous coverage protection will end, and states will resume eligibility reviews to ensure enrollees still qualify.
According to estimates, 6.7 million children could lose their Medicaid coverage during this process, known as “the unwinding,” even though most enrolled children are still eligible for either Medicaid or CHIP.
Parents need to act quickly to confirm or update their contact information with their state’s Medicaid agency and complete their Medicaid renewal when notified. Schools can help with outreach and enrollment assistance, connecting parents and families with the resources and information needed to maintain their children’s coverage. It is critical for children to stay enrolled in order to receive Medicaid-funded school health services.
Healthy Schools Campaign is partnering with the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and other organizations to disseminate a toolkit designed for schools and school districts to help inform families. Developed by AASA, Georgetown Center for Children and Families, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the toolkit includes backpack fliers, newsletter blurbs, robocall scripts and social media posts.
The unwinding of the Medicaid “continuous coverage” policy will be a major undertaking for states and families. The uninsured rate for children could easily more than double without action. Please share the toolkit with your school or district. Working together, we can help protect the health and well-being of children and schools.