MEDICAID ANNUAL ELIGIBILITY REVIEWS TO RESUME APRIL 1 AFTER PAUSE DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Do you or a family member currently have health coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)? If so, you need to take steps to prepare for upcoming eligibility reviews.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS), who manages the Medicaid Healthy Connections program in South Carolina, announced it will resume its standard Medicaid annual eligibility reviews beginning April 1, 2023, after a pause on reviews during the COVID-19 pandemic. This process is in place to ensure those who are enrolled in Medicaid programs continue to meet established eligibility criteria.
SCDHHS has created a web page, scdhhs.gov/annualreviews, where Healthy Connections Medicaid members can find information about Medicaid annual reviews. The website will be continually updated as the review process begins.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for this upcoming review:
Make sure your contact information is up-to-date. Members can update or add their contact information by visiting apply.scdhhs.gov, calling (888) 549-0820 Monday through Friday from 8am to 6pm, or by visiting a SCDHHS local eligibility office (a list is available at scdhhs.gov/site-page/where-go-help).
Check your mail regularly. SCDHHS will mail you a letter about your Medicaid or CHIP coverage. This letter will also let you know if you need to complete a renewal form to see if you still qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.
If you get a renewal form, fill it out and return it to your state right away. This may help you avoid a gap in your coverage. For members who have provided SCDHHS with a current cell phone number, the agency will also send a series of text messages to remind the member to return their review form if they have not done so already. You may opt out of this service by following the instructions in the initial text message.
If you or a family member no longer qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, you may be able to buy a health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Visit healthcare.gov to find Marketplace plans and see if you might save on premiums. When you apply, don’t forget to include current information about your household, income, and your state’s recent decision about your Medicaid or CHIP coverage.
SCDHHS has produced a fact sheet for Healthy Connections Medicaid members that is available at msp.scdhhs.gov/annualreviews. Members with questions should contact the Healthy Connections Member Contact Center at (888) 549-0820. Community organizations, such as SC Thrive, are also able to answer questions at (800) 726-8774.
On the importance of Medicaid re-enrollment, Dr. Behling, chief medical officer for HopeHealth, states, “HopeHealth provides outstanding care to our patients with all forms of insurance, including Medicaid. It is critical for patients to participate in the re-enrollment process to ensure continued access to medications and testing in addition to health care from their providers. Our patient benefits counselors are committed to helping our patients through this process and are available to answer any questions they may have.”
If you are a HopeHealth patient and need extra assistance, please reach out at (843) 667-9414.
While this process will begin April 1, 2023, meaning members will begin receiving notices and review forms in April, the agency anticipates it could take up 12 months to complete this process. This means some members may not receive their notice or annual review form until March 2024.