What to Know About Medicaid Unwinding:
In March 2023, Virginia state agencies will begin Medicaid eligibility reviews for millions of Virginians as the Commonwealth returns to regular enrollment and eligibility operations following the end of COVID-19 pandemic emergency policies. This process, commonly referred to as Medicaid Unwinding, could impact coverage for over 2 million Virginians and is one of the most significant health care transitions for the Commonwealth in recent years.
Below is more information about the Medicaid Unwinding process, timeline, and actions you can take to help keep your health coverage.
What is Medicaid unwinding and why is it happening?
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) prohibited states from removing individuals from Medicaid during the pandemic, which protected millions of enrollees from losing their health coverage.
However, these requirements expired on March 31, 2023, and the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services and the Virginia Department of Social Services are in the process of re-determining eligibility for Virginians enrolled in Medicaid. The first closures of eligibility are expected on April 30, 2023.
What can I do to retain my health care coverage?
If you or a family member currently have health coverage through Medicaid, there are several steps you can take to help keep health coverage.
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date
To check or change your contact information go to https://commonhelp.virginia.gov/ or call Cover Virginia at 1-855-242-8282 (TTY: 1-888-221-1590). You may also be able to update your contact information by reaching out to your local Department of Social Services.
Watch and respond to your mail, email, and texts
Review all official mail, email, and text messages about the renewal process carefully and respond with all the requested information or changes by the due date. You can do this in several ways:
Online – http://commonhelp.virginia.gov/ and scroll down to the “Review benefits” section.
Phone – contact Cover Virginia at 1-855-242-8282 (TTY: 1-888-221-1590)
Mail – complete the renewal form that you receive in the mail and use the prepaid return envelope by the due date.
Fax or In Person – complete the renewal form and fax or return in person to your local Department of Social Services.
If you have questions about the form or checklist contact your local Department of Social Services or Cover Virginia. Make sure you have the requested information gathered when you call.
If you receive a notice that you no longer qualify for Medicaid and believe this determination is a mistake, you can file an appeal following the instructions in the determination letter. Additional information on Virginia’s Medicaid eligibility requirements can be found here.
What if I no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage?
If you are no longer eligible for Medicaid health coverage, you can apply and enroll in a Marketplace plan as early as 60 days before your Medicaid or CHIP coverage ends, or after your Medicaid coverage ends until July 31, 2024. For more information about Marketplace savings and to apply, please visit HealthCare.gov here. You may also be eligible to receive health insurance through your employer.
Additional assistance on navigating this process, including tools to compare plans and costs, can be found at enrollva.org or 1-888-392-5132.