Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians could lose their health insurance and nearly two million could face more food insecurity in the coming months due to two sweeping rollbacks to pandemic-era federal policies.
Health care advocates argue there is at least one concrete step the state can take right now to mitigate coverage losses.
One of the biggest problems that advocates for greater insurance coverage often point to in the Medicaid system is “churn” — people repeatedly cycling on and off the program due to paperwork problems or temporary changes in financial status.
Churn is an especially big problem for children, said Carolyn Myers of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, which advocates for expanded health care coverage. Myers argues that these past three years of continuous coverage solved a lot of that problem, but now that’s about to change.
“There’s been a 20% increase over those three years of children enrolled in Medicaid,” she said. “It supports healthy development at an early age.”
Of the Pennsylvanians projected to lose Medicaid coverage in the next year, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children estimates about 430,000 will be minors.