Data shows that thousands of eligible children are being removed from the Medicaid program due to an inefficient, rushed process. Keeping a child enrolled for 12 months would allow parents peace of mind and ensure a child receives the continuous healthcare so necessary to keep a child healthy and out of the emergency room.

 

The current process relies on bad data and automatically terminates a child’s insurance if parents don’t respond to HHSC’s request for additional documentation within an excessively short 10-day period. For those who can respond, the vast majority are confirmed to still be eligible. This suggests that many children (65,000 in 2019) lost coverage they most likely are eligible to receive.

Meanwhile, most of the children who are removed from Medicaid miss those important regular checkups and immunizations in their first years of life. This results in long-term costs, both for children and for their communities. Missed doctor appointments often mean missed time in school due to protracted, preventable illnesses. There’s also the loss of income for parents who need to care for sick children, and increased administrative burdens for the state, doctors, insurance companies and families.

Instead, a 12-month continuous eligibility cycle, which begins the renewal process at the 10-month mark, will provide better healthcare for children and is a better investment of resources.