The Covid-19 pandemic came with a lot of issues, and one of them was healthcare. To fix this, Texas enrolled a large number of its kids in Medicaid, ensuring they survived the deadly virus. But now, they’re being “kicked out” of the program.

Texas just dropped at least one million children from its Medicaid program. Why? In simple terms, the pandemic is over and these kids no longer qualify for the assistance. Read on for more details on the development.

19.6 Million People Removed From Medicaid

Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) shows that they are cutting down on Medical assistance through Medicaid. As it stands, around 19.6 million enrollees have been taken off the plan throughout the country.

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That’s roughly 30% of the people who initially enrolled in the program. Keep in mind that this removal is constitutional as states can remove Americans who no longer qualify for Medicaid.  

Texas Kicked Out The Most People

Once news got out, Texas took action immediately. It currently has the highest number of people kicked out of the program while other states decreased moderately.

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But it’s not only Texas. Southern states like South Carolina have always wanted to kick people off Medicaid. More precisely, they want to remove people who didn’t respond to renewal requests or are just not eligible.

2.1 Million People Kicked And More Than Half Are Children

Texas wasted no time removing people from the Medicaid programs after being given the “green light.” This has resulted in approximately 2.1 million people being kicked with precisely 1.9 million people remaining.

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What makes this data sad is that children made up more than half of the people removed. More precisely, Texas kicked out 1.3 million children, and these kids made up 65% of the total population of enrollees.

Most Didn’t Complete The Renewal Process

It’s worth noting that Texas isn’t removing people out of spite. A large number of these people no longer had the coverage because they failed to complete the renewal process.

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This usually happens when the enrollee doesn’t know how to complete the renewal process on time. On the other hand, it also happens when the state no longer has contact with the person and they don’t return to reconnect.

How Medicaid Works

This state program was designed to provide health coverage for Americans with low incomes. So, once enrolled, the person gets covered for doctor visits, hospital stays, long-term medical care, etc.

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During the pandemic, the government decided to expand Medicaid enrollments to fit children whose emergency needs were not met. However, in order to stay in the program, all participants must return to renew. This provides the state with enough information to decide whether you still need the program.

‘It’s Been A Monumental Task’

The Deputy chief press officer for Texas Health and Human Services, Tiffany Lynn Young, gave a statement about the situation. She said that redetermining the eligibility of Texas’ six million Medicaid clients over the past year has been a “monumental task.”

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In her own words: “Texas has from April 2023 to May 2024 to initiate and complete redeterminations for all 6 million people who were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP as of March 31, 2023.” But “…We will continue to process applications as quickly as possible to serve all eligible Texans.”

Texas Will Be More Difficult To Qualify For Now

Chris Fong, CEO of Smile Insurance Group gave his prediction for Texas. He thinks that since the state kicked out so many people, getting qualified for Medicaid will be much harder now. 

Source: Sparks Advisors/Chris Fong

In Fong’s own words: “It is our belief that a large portion of them qualified through the temporary COVID Medicaid expansion and now don’t qualify.”

It Won’t Be That Hard For Children

While Fong predicts that Texas will have stricter Medicaid requirements, it won’t be that bad for kids. Essentially, the state will ensure kids still have access to the Medicaid program without having to go through tedious requirements.

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Fong further adds: “The health care situation in Texas is very challenging, which is causing many people to go without health insurance in Texas. An adult may financially qualify for Medicaid in Texas, but they are not able to get Medicaid because they do not have a dependent child under 18.”

Getting Kicked Off Texas’ Medicaid Is Easy

People get removed from Medicaid for various reasons. It could be because they earn more money than they used to, are no longer pregnant, or are older than the age limit to qualify. But now that the pandemic is over, things are much different in Texas.

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Experts say it’s most likely the over-than-average Medicaid income limit for children that’s to blame. So, families that want to re-enroll may have to check with the state to ensure they meet the new eligibility criteria. 

‘Kids May No Longer Be Eligible’

Louise Norris, health policy analyst for commented on the possible new requirements. She explained while Texas is still lenient with kids, they may still not be able to take advantage of Medicaid.

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Norris explains why: “Kids are more likely in Texas to no longer be eligible now due to the higher household income, simply because the income limits are lower in Texas.”

Effect Of This Large Disenrollment

There’s no doubt that removing this many people from Medicaid won’t have some significant repercussions. Steve Love, president and CEO of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council explains what the state should expect.

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“From the adult side, it’s going to affect the health of the workforce. You’re going to have workers that don’t have the medical coverage they need…” As for the children, “[They] are going to miss more school.”

Other Support Programs Are Declining Too

Texas Medicaid isn’t the only support program that’s losing traction. Other systems set to support children in need are starting to fail, especially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.

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Christopher Durovich, president and CEO of Children’s Health, commented on the concerning situation. He said: “Pediatric health is a prime indicator of a healthy adult life. [But] too many children are starting at a disadvantage.”

More People May Get Kicked Off

For now, there’s no sign that Texas plans to stop disenrolling people from its Medicaid program. At one point, only 800,000 people were removed, but now, it’s over 1.3 million.

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Even if the disenrollment rate slows down, getting back into the program will be tricky. Texas is known for having higher Medicaid requirements than other states. And now, since the pandemic is over, they’ve returned to their strict ways.