Nearly 11,000 People Removed From NJ FamilyCare So Far As Renewal Process Continues

NJ FamilyCare, the state’s health insurance program, has so far disenrolled 10,675 Medicaid members as the process of determining which members are still eligible to receive health insurance following a years-long pause due to the pandemic, gets fully underway.

According to figures provided by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, between April 1st and June 30th, 500,794 NJ FamilyCare members had their renewals initiated, and 109,575 of those, or 22%, have so far been renewed.

According to DHS estimates, nearly 280,000 of the nearly 2.29 million members in total, are expected to lose coverage due to ineligibility over the next 11 months.

The federal government in March 2020 temporarily waived Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements to help prevent people from losing health coverage during the pandemic.

State-run Medicaid programs were required by federal law to restart eligibility reviews by April 1 under the federal FY 2023 Omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden in late December.

Last month, DHS announced an automatic 30-day eligibility extension to all members who did not respond to renewal requests.

“In anticipation of this work, NJ FamilyCare has improved systems, expanded automated renewal, and deployed new outreach strategies to raise awareness,” DHS said in a letter announcing the change.

“Like many other states, though, we are finding that too high a percentage of members in early renewal groups have not yet responded in any way to their renewal package, indicating that they may not have seen or understood the mail that was sent to them. Due to these national trends, (federal officials are) allowing states the option of delaying disenrollment under certain conditions.”

Interestingly, New Jersey’s total disenrollment rate is about 9%, the second lowest rate in the country, trailing only Wyoming.

But that low rate is mostly due to the state starting the process later than most other states and because of the 30-day extension.

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