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PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island is extending deadlines for re-certifications – and potentially “adverse actions” – against the huge population enrolled in Medicaid during the pandemic.
Approximately one-third of Rhode Islanders, 290,000 people, are enrolled in the state and federally financed health coverage program known as Medicaid.
On Wednesday, the state’s Executive Office of Health & Human Services announced a series of emergency rule changes “to ensure that during the COVID-19 emergency, Medicaid members continue to receive medically necessary, Medicaid-covered services while minimizing exposure to the virus.”
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Among the announced actions:
“Delay post eligibility verification…Delay adverse actions on our members eligibility if someone experiences a change in eligibility…Extend the time for 12-month reviews of person-centered plans…Extend level of care authorizations…Limit [in-person contacts] to only those appointments that are critical to the member’s health, if needed given staffing shortages.”
It is not yet known whether Rhode Island has seen a surge in Medicaid applications amid the widespread and potentially temporary closures of retail stores, businesses and the two casinos.
Rhode Island’s Medicaid population includes 152,592 low-income families. The next largest groups include the “aged, blind and disabled” (52,528) and the 72,316 in the so-called Medicaid expansion population.
Rhode Island was among 31 states, along with the District of Columbia, that adopted the federal law’s expanded eligibility criteria for Medicaid. In Rhode Island, that extended eligiblity to low-income adults who are not disabled and have no dependent children.
On Twitter: @kathyprojo