Over 82,000 Massachusetts Residents Lose MassHealth Coverage In August

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BOSTON (State House News Service) — [Coverage Developing] About 82,000 Bay Staters lost MassHealth coverage in August, another sizable drop in enrollment as the state reaches an "inflection point" in a year-long effort to review eligibility for every single member.

Total enrollment in MassHealth, which combines Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program under one umbrella, fell for the third straight month with additional drops forecast in the near future, officials announced Thursday.

Massachusetts is now five months into a campaign to determine how many of the 2.4 million people on MassHealth rolls in April still qualify for the publicly funded health insurance. The federal government prohibited people from losing Medicaid coverage during the pandemic, and that policy has since ended, requiring all 50 states to embark on a similarly gargantuan review.

Officials said the net decrease was 62,000, with the 82,000 total departures from MassHealth offset by 20,000 newly enrolled members in August -- a figure "within a typical monthly range."

Administration officials projected before the campaign began that it would lead to a net reduction of 300,000 to 400,000 people. Assistant Secretary for MassHealth Mike Levine said Thursday the next two months should give a much better sense if that forecast remains accurate.

"I would say we're at an inflection point right now. We're starting to see, again, the more significant drops, and we're going to see that through the fall. So I'll have a much better answer for you in I'd say two months based on two more months of experience," Levine said. "But nothing that we have seen yet suggests we're in a very different ballpark than that [300,000 to 400,000]."

Written by Chris Lisinski/SHNS

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