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June 22, 2024 8:02 am

Local News

NV Children Could Lose Health Coverage in Medicaid Redetermination

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Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service

As kids head back to school, parents in Nevada should check to ensure they still have health insurance.

States are re-determining people’s eligibility for Medicaid after the COVID-19 public health emergency officially ended in May – and many children are being dropped from the rolls as their families lose coverage.

Health Policy Manager for the Children’s Advocacy Alliance Carissa Pearce said the Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services has dis-enrolled people for lack of updated information, or filing issues.

She said the impacts can be catastrophic for families.

“Three out of four children are going to be losing Medicaid coverage but are still likely eligible,” said Pearce, “and so, this means that these children are going to be missing out on a lot of services that they really might need.”

Pearce said if you haven’t heard from DWSS regarding your child’s eligibility or your own, reach out to the state Medicaid office to make sure they have your most up-to-date contact information.

Deputy Director of Children’s Advocacy Alliance, Tara Raines, said in the most recent Kids Count Data Book – from 2019 to 2021 – the number of uninsured children increased in Nevada.

She said she’s convinced the state could have done better administering pandemic-related policies.

According to the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, 95% of Medicaid dis-enrollments in Nevada are procedural.

Raines said she fears the situation will likely worsen.

“With this unwinding taking people off the rosters, and so many of them being procedural,” said Raines, “we are going to continue to decline in an area that already, we’re performing poorly.”

She added that the Alliance has noticed two groups being most affected – young people who’ve just turned 19 and are no longer age-eligible for coverage as kids, and families with children under age three – since many have never been through a redetermination process, especially if they obtained coverage during the pandemic.

This article originally appeared in Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.