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Changes could be coming to Medicaid eligibility process

Millions of Americans depend on Medicaid to help with their medical expenses and care needs. However, the application process is complicated and eligibility requirements are strict. Qualifying for and keeping these benefits can also be challenging.

These could become even more challenging as the Trump administration considers changes to the program that could affect Medicaid enrollment in Colorado and across the U.S.

What changes is the administration considering?

As the Wall Street Journal discusses, the Trump administration is considering two changes to the Medicaid program. The changes involve conducting eligibility reviews more frequently and verifying income through different sources of data.

These efforts are aimed at curbing alleged fraud and reducing enrollment. An administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stated federal changes could be necessary because states - including Colorado - have blocked other measures to reduce dependence on Medicaid. For instance, many states oppose adding a work requirement to Medicaid eligibility.

Adding obstacles to reduce numbers

Moving people off Medicaid is a priority for the Trump administration. Supporters say that adding more requirements will reduce the number of able-bodied people receiving Medicaid. 

They also argue that states have not done enough to verify ongoing eligibility. States make regular checks on Medicaid recipients to ensure they still qualify for benefits. Though, the administration claims many states are not doing that frequently enough. By increasing checks, the hope is that they will uncover abuse faster.

However, critics of these proposed changes argue that renewal requests for eligibility are already overly aggressive in some states. In some cases, parties have just 10 days to respond to renewal requests, even in areas where recipients cannot do so via electronic systems.

They also state that allegations of fraud and abuse are misleading.

Looking to the future of Medicaid

These changes have only been proposed, though they do illustrate that changing Medicaid remains a top priority for the current administration. Whether these measures go forward or not, it is crucial for Medicaid recipients and those hoping to collect Medicaid prepare accordingly.

One way to do this is to start planning for the future now.

Depending on your specific situations and needs, Medicaid planning could include protecting assets, finding care, and getting help with navigating the application and renewal process. 

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