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Health Care Authority reminds Medicaid clients to complete recertification process or face termination
OLYMPIA — Washington State’s Health Care Authority is reminding thousands of Medicaid clients that they need to complete their recertification by the end of November or face the loss of coverage.
Manning Pellanda, Assistant HCA Director for Eligibility Policy and Service Delivery, said the recertification backlog includes November renewals. Fewer than one-third of the estimated 66,000 November renewals have met the deadline so far.
The good news is there is still time for clients to renew their coverage. Recognizing there are several factors that have likely confused clients, the Health Care Authority is working with health plans and community health centers to help clients remain enrolled. There also is a 90-day grace period once re-enrolled where all services and coverage will be retroactive. For those who have submitted a renewal no action is needed.
For re-enrollment, clients can submit the information several different ways:
• Apply directly in Healthplanfinder, the Exchange’s web portal.
• Filling out a paper application (HCA Form 18-001) and mailing it to Washington Healthplanfinder, PO Box 946, Olympia, Wash. 98507
• Contacting your health plan. If you don’t have their contact information, you may call the Medical Assistance Customer Service Center at 1-800-562-3022.
• Contact a Community Health Center in your area. You can find a list of health centers at www.wacmhc.org.
Pellanda said the discrepancy may have been fueled by several factors:
• Some clients may have filled out paper forms, and those could still be awaiting processing.
• Others may have been confused by the new Health Benefit Exchange.
• Some clients also may have been confused by extensive media coverage of the poorly performing federal exchange.
Pellanda said some recertifications also could be held up in error files inside Healthplanfinder.
“The critical issue for us is that these clients have received three reminder letters and face termination on November 30 if they don’t manage to get their renewal information in to us,” he said. “We are very concerned that families or children could lose coverage, even for an interval, if their information is delayed.”
Pellanda said approximately 15 percent of the recertifications typically drop off or miss their termination date — often because no one in the family is sick or in continuing care at that moment. Some clients also realize that Medicaid coverage is retroactive.
But he said he was concerned enough to issue the additional public warning because of November’s significantly higher drop-off rate as well as possible confusion surrounding the new exchange process.