By Maithreyi Gopalan, SSRI cofund and assistant professor of education and public policy, for "The Conversation"
At least 1.5 million Americans lost Medicaid coverage in April, May and the first three weeks of June 2023, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that tracks health data.
Because only 25 states had publicly reported this data as of June 22, the actual number of people who lost coverage through Medicaid, the government’s main health insurance program for low-income people and people with certain disabilities, is surely much higher.
This swift decline in Medicaid enrollment follows a huge increase that started in early 2020 and was brought about by temporary policy changes in effect for the first three years of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, the federal government didn’t let states, which administer Medicaid, drop anyone from the program – even if their income grew too high to qualify.
As of January 2023, the most recent month for which full data is available, a total of 93 million Americans were insured through either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, a related program. That marked a 30.7% increase from February 2020.
The federal government has estimated that 15 million people will lose their coverage, including 5.3 million children, by mid-2024 due to the end of the continuous enrollment policy.
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