With major Medicaid changes ahead, advocates want to see increased staffing for assistance offices

A group of health advocacy organizations are asking the state to improve staffing at county assistance offices, as well as to make other administrative changes the advocates say will lessen the likelihood of people losing their health coverage once the state starts “unwinding” its pandemic-era Medical Assistance.

During the pandemic, individuals who got their health care coverage through Medicaid – the joint federal-state program that provides health insurance for many low-income and disabled people – were mostly allowed to remain enrolled in the program without completing the re-enrollment paperwork recipients must normally complete every 12 months. Enrollment in Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program has grown by roughly 800,000 people statewide during this time.

But those pandemic enrollment rules will end April 1, and the state will have an enormous and unprecedented administrative task of redetermining eligibility for more than 3.6 million Pennsylvanians.

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