States Must Plan Now to Limit Medicaid Churn When Continuous Coverage Ends
By Suzanne Wikle
In an ideal world, when people no longer receive key supports such as food assistance or Medicaid it would mean they no longer needed that help. The reality is often far different. Many people stop receiving benefits, even though they are still eligible, due to confusing and bureaucratic processes. Others may have become ineligible due to a change of circumstances that was only temporary. When people re-enroll shortly after leaving, this is called “churn.”
Churn is harmful to people and is costly for states. Federal policy temporarily eliminated churn during the COVID-19 pandemic, but this policy will end later this year or in 2023. In this brief, the Center for Law and Social Policy recommends steps states and advocates can take before churn returns to protect people who remain eligible for Medicaid and conserve state resources.