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Medicaid renewals for households with children to restart Dec. 1

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Medicaid renewals for households with children to restart Dec. 1

Nov 20, 2023 | 2:51 pm ET
By Janine L. Weisman
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Medicaid renewals for households with children to restart Dec. 1
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Medicaid renewal notices are sent in a white envelope from the State of Rhode Island that says, 'Time Sensitive--Open Immediately.' Most recipients will get a yellow notice while some people will get a green. (Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services website)

State human services leaders are spreading the word for families to watch for the arrival of their Medicaid renewal notices between December and April 2024.

Here are three things Medicaid members can do to make sure they’re ready:

1. Update their contact information. Make sure the state has their current address, phone number, and email address so members can get important updates about their coverage.
2. Watch for their yellow or green notice in the mail. The state may tell members that their coverage is being automatically renewed or ask for more information.
3. Take action right away. Members should submit signed forms and any other documents the State requests as soon as possible. Members must send the state their documents by the date on their notice.

Members can check in their online account or through the quick look-up tool at www.staycovered.ri.gov.

More than 75,000 Rhode Island households with dependents younger than 19 will have their eligibility for Medicaid reviewed starting Dec. 1, according to the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

Before the pandemic the state reviewed Medicaid members’ information every year to make sure they were still eligible, a process known as “renewal.” But the renewal process was suspended during the pandemic so that people did not lose critical health insurance coverage during the national public health emergency.

On April 1, 2023, the state began eligibility renewals for Rhode Islanders who have Medicaid. As required by federal law, the state is not renewing everyone at once. Like many other states, Rhode Island is delaying the start of renewals for households with children to Dec. 1, 2023, to allow more time for outreach, engagement, and preparation.

Officials are concerned that many families will lose their coverage due to administrative or procedural reasons, such as their contact information is out of date.

“It is of the utmost importance that households with children enrolled in Medicaid are aware of their renewal timeline, are opening any mail they get from the State, and know what resources are available to support them through this process,” said Rhode Island Medicaid Program Director Kristin Sousa.

Renewal notices come in a white envelope from the State of Rhode Island that says, “Time Sensitive—Open Immediately.” Most recipients will get a yellow notice. Some will get a green notice.

Rhode Island keeps eligible people covered by automatically renewing coverage when members have enough updated eligibility information on file, officials said. More than half of all eligible Medicaid members up for renewal each month are renewed automatically. If the state doesn’t have enough updated information on file to renew someone’s coverage automatically, they will get a notice asking them to submit additional information.