As pandemic-era Medicaid extensions expire, Kentucky is the first state to offer automatic renewal for minors
Kentucky has received federal approval to delay what’s known as the Medicaid unwinding process for children 18 and under. The delay will allow minors who received coverage as part of federal Medicaid extensions during the pandemic to automatically keep those benefits for another year.
During the pandemic, the federal government waived certain requirements for Medicaid in an attempt to get more people covered at the height of the outbreak. But states are now undergoing an unwinding process meant to return Medicaid to its former rules.
"Kentucky implemented continuous coverage for children in April at the start of that unwinding period, however the child had to go through an eligibility renewal process," Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman explained Thursday. "With today's announcement, we can now automatically extend the child's coverage for 12 months without having to go through an extra renewal process."
Coleman said Kentucky is the first state in the country to implement the increased flexibility. It went into effect October 1st and will last through the unwinding period, which ends April 2024.
Coleman says the announcement means more than 600,000 Kentucky children on Medicaid and K-Chip will get streamlined access to the extended coverage. The pause also frees up more resources for the state to concentrate on contacting adults who will again be subject to the more rigorous process of applying for Medicaid.