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Report: NV sees small decline in Medicaid, CHIP enrollment

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By Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service

The Medicaid and Nevada Check Up programs had more than 13,000 fewer children enrolled last year than during the pandemic, according to new research from the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.

States have been reexamining Medicaid benefits since the pandemic ended, and disenrolling families based on their head-of-household’s eligibility. Carissa Pearce, health policy manager for the Children’s Advocacy Alliance, said this means some children were also dropped from coverage who are still eligible.

As a result, she said, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told states to stop disenrolling and ensure they were looking at individual eligibility.

“Meaning that children would be screened separately from their parents, and that was a really important change,” Pearce explained. “Specifically in Nevada, every person who had been disenrolled up to that point in August and September of 2023 were reinstated for their coverage, so that they could fix their system and then proceed with disenrollments.”

Pearce said Nevada didn’t start disenrolling children again until January of this year, giving families more time to check the requirements and submit the documentation to keep their coverage. But from January to February, about 1,500 Nevada children were dropped. She said it’s important for families to see if their child is eligible for Nevada Check Up or consider a state marketplace insurance program at nevadahealthlink.com.

Tara Raines, deputy director of the Children’s Advocacy Alliance, said her message to families is to not avoid medical appointments if they suspect their child may not be covered. She said there are other programs that families can be directed to, and thinks the state could do more to reach and inform families.

“I think a campaign that lets people know, ‘Hey, you were disenrolled from Medicaid, here are your options,’ would be incredibly helpful,” she said, “and I don’t know if that looks like partnering with school districts.”

Raines said families’ living conditions and circumstances vary in the Silver State. This could mean some may not have a permanent address, but should not mean they go without health coverage.

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