Nearly 1 in 4 of Those Removed From Medicaid Now Uninsured
Health Care

Nearly 1 in 4 of Those Removed From Medicaid Now Uninsured

Karen Pulfer Focht

Millions of Americans have been removed from state-level Medicaid programs over the last year, following the official end of the Covid-19 pandemic and the return to pre-pandemic rules governing access to the system. According to the “unwinding tracker” maintained by KFF, a nonpartisan health policy research group, about 20.1 million people have been removed from Medicaid coverage as of April 11, 2024, with the majority of removals occurring for procedural reasons such as failure to submit required paperwork.

Thanks to the first national survey of those who lost their coverage, we now know what happened to them after disenrollment. The KFF survey found that the largest group (47%) reenrolled in Medicaid in the months following their disenrollment – which, as Phil Galewitz of KFF Health News notes, suggests they should not have been disenrolled in the first place.

The second largest group (28%) found health insurance through other sources. A bit more than half became insured through an employer, while about a third gained coverage through Medicare. A slightly smaller number signed up for coverage through the federal marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.

The remaining group (23%) reported that they are now uninsured. Asked why they did not acquire alternative coverage, a majority of respondents within that group (54%) cited cost as the primary reason. About a third said they were trying to get back onto Medicaid, while roughly a quarter said they were unaware of other options for insurance.