(The Daily Dish) Jennifer Strohecker, Medicaid Director with the Department of Health and Human Services joined Nicea and Surae to talk about an ongoing Public Health Emergency (PHE) that needs to be addressed.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government declared a public health emergency. During this time, state Medicaid agencies have been required to continue Medicaid coverage for all members, even if their eligibility changes.

As a result, Utah Medicaid members have stayed covered so they don’t have to worry about their health coverage. This currently affects more than 474,000 members, which is a staggering number.

The federal government determines how long the public Health Emergency will last and has committed to inform states 60 days before the end date. The Utah Department of Health and Human Services expects the federal government to extend until July.

When the PHE ends, they will have to review the eligibility of all Medicaid members, including more than 200,000 children. This is being referred to as “unwinding.” Members will continue to receive benefits until the PHE ends AND the Department of Workforce Services can complete their eligibility renewal. 

Many people moved during the pandemic and they must be able to reach them when it is time to review their eligibility. They are asking members to update their contact information (address, ph.#, email) with the Department of Workforce Services or by calling a Health Program Representative at (866) 608-9422 and to also check their mail for notices and respond timely to reviews. They will also be posting updates on their website regarding the PHE and the pandemic.

Utah Department of Health and Human Services wants all eligible Utahns to get covered and stay covered. It is critical that when the PHE ends, they can contact members!

For more information, visit their website.

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