3.7 Million People Have Lost Their Medicaid Coverage Since Public Health Emergency Ended 

July 28, 2023
Meghan Farrell, 508-423-5185, mfarrell@communitycatalyst.org

(Boston, MA) – Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released new data on the Medicaid unwind from the continuous coverage provision of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. According to CMS, in states that had started their redeterminations, 700,000 people lost their Medicaid through April 2023 with 80% of those coverage losses due to administrative or procedural errors. Estimates based on more recent data show that over 3.7 million people have lost their Medicaid coverage. 

Emily Stewart, Executive Director of Community Catalyst, released the following statement:

“This is yet another way our health system continues to fail the people and communities that need coverage and care, yet face unfair and unnecessary barriers due to racism, classism and other forms of oppression. The people harmed most are already struggling to keep a roof over their heads, cover rising medical costs and provide food for their families. It’s not enough to just acknowledge the problem, the Biden administration must do more. And, quickly. 

“We know the health and economic benefits of expanded Medicaid, yet it took a global pandemic for policymakers to provide more pathways for reliable coverage. Now, because governors are playing politics with people’s health, 3 million people have lost the health coverage they want and need. These are children whose parents want to take them to the doctor without going into medical debt, people with disabilities that want and need ongoing care in their homes, and new parents seeking postpartum care. Imagine needing to go to the hospital thinking you have Medicaid, only to find out you were kicked off solely due to administrative mistakes and stuck with an unaffordable bill. 

“While some state leaders are doing their best to mitigate these coverage losses, others are making every effort to take health coverage away. It is unjust and unfair. Medicaid should be there to ensure all people have access to affordable health insurance so that they can go to the doctor without going into debt. The Biden administration should step in and use all the tools in its toolbox to help us reach that reality.”

According to the report: 

  • In some states call center wait times have increased significantly – with average hold times of 40 minutes or more, leading to large numbers of people giving up before they are even able to speak to anyone.
  • The three states with the highest call abandonment time are North Dakota, Florida and Missouri.
  • The three state with the longest wait times are Idaho, Missouri and Florida


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.