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Capitol Correspondence - 03.08.22

CMS Issues New Guidance Related to Medicaid Eligibility Upon Termination of the Public Health Emergency

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On March 3, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new guidance directed to state health officials on initiating eligibility renewals for all individuals enrolled in Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and Basic Health Program (BHP) upon termination of the public health emergency (PHE). This new letter updates a previous letter to state health officials from August 2021.

In the letter, CMS notes that it intends to promote the continuity of coverage for individuals and ease the burden on states by putting into place an orderly process. The new letter updates previous requirements for states and provides more flexibility. Now, states have a 12-month period from the end of the PHE to initiate actions to determine individuals’ eligibility and enrollment in Medicaid, CHIP, and BHP. Previously, states were required to have completed those actions within that 12-month period. States will be given a 14-month period to complete all eligibility and enrollment actions.

CMS is also releasing a PHE unwinding toolkit for states to help beneficiaries through the eligibility renewal process. CMS currently maintains a website with these and other resources on unwinding from the PHE.