Calls on Governors and State Agencies to Untangle Confusing Enrollment Processes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan. 31, 2023
CONTACT: Jack Cardinal, (781) 960-5208, firstname.lastname@example.org
(BOSTON, MA) – Community Catalyst released the following statement sounding the alarm that millions of people are at risk of losing affordable health coverage following an announcement from the Biden administration that the COVID-19 public health emergency is set to end on May 11. The health justice organization is calling for governors and state agencies to provide robust, culturally competent, multi-language and in-person communications to ensure communities, including those with varying degrees of language literacy, know what to do and who to turn to so that they are not left without coverage.
Statement from Emily Stewart, executive director of Community Catalyst:
“There is a direct correlation between affordable health care and improved health outcomes for communities. This is especially true for children, people with disabilities and non-native English speakers, who are at increased risk of losing coverage because of confusing state enrollment processes when the public health emergency unwinds.
“Unfortunately, there are still some Republican governors who would rather stand in the way of progress by making this transition even more complicated than it needs to be. We cannot move backwards. COVID-19 is not over and continues to make people sick and land them in the hospital. Families are still battling one of the worst cold and flu sessions in recent history. If people lose coverage, they will be less likely to seek out preventive care and will add an even larger strain on health systems.
“The uninsured rate in this country has reached historic lows in recent years and the public health emergency declaration was pivotal to this shift. It is critical that governors and state agencies provide timely, culturally competent, multi-language and in person communications to ensure communities aren’t left without coverage. There will be a lot of confusion and uncertainty and we must resource trusted messengers and community groups to handle increased outreach and enrollment efforts.
“We must all work together to protect and expand coverage and to hold our elected officials accountable for getting in the way. Community Catalyst and our state and national partners won’t stop fighting until everyone gets the care they need and is treated with dignity and respect.”
About the PHE
- Coverage losses and gaps in coverage are more likely to occur in non-expansion states, states with weak Medicaid policies, and states without strong coordination between the Medicaid agency and the Marketplace.
- Many people losing Medicaid after the PHE expires will be eligible for other coverage –whether that be another Medicaid category, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Marketplace coverage with tax credits, or employer coverage.
- This is a critical window to conduct outreach and education and provide enrollment assistance that will help ensure that those who remain eligible for Medicaid are able to retain coverage and those who are no longer eligible can transition to other coverage.
- Additional resources can be found here.
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About Community Catalyst:
Community Catalyst is a leading non-profit national health advocacy organization dedicated to advancing a movement for race equity and health justice. We partner with local, state and national advocates to leverage and build power so all people can influence decisions that affect their health. Health systems will not be accountable to people without a fully engaged and organized community voice. That’s why we work every day to ensure people’s interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and health care are made: in communities, state houses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit http://www.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @CommCatHealth.