What the end of the COVID-19 emergency declaration means for Montgomery Co. residents on Medicaid

Medicaid recipients are being put on notice, as the end of the federal declaration of a public health emergency due to COVID-19 means changes that could lead to the loss of their benefits.

The emergency declarations that went into effect in 2020 enhanced federal funding and meant participants didn’t have to renew; but now, participants will be subject to eligibility reviews.

Yvonne Iscandari, a senior administrator with the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, said approximately 210,000 Montgomery County residents are on Medicaid, and that about 50% have been auto-renewed. But as many as 17,000 may lose their Medicaid benefits.

“That’s not to say that they cannot transition into a qualified health plan or to a county safety-net program,” Iscandari said.

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, speaking during his weekly briefing, said, “All Medicaid recipients are going to have to go through a redetermination process.”

He said those who are no longer eligible for Medicaid coverage may qualify for private or county safety net programs for the uninsured.

“In addition to Medicaid changes, there have been changes in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or what’s called SNAP,” Elrich said.

He pointed out that the county formed a food resilience program designed to work with agencies and nonprofits to fill in the gaps families may face due to changes or loss of food benefits.

To find out how to renew Medicaid benefits or to check your status at the Maryland Department of Human Services website.

For information on Maryland Health Connection coverage or for information on whether you need to shift from Medicaid to private coverage, visit Maryland Health Connection.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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