What Medicaid members need to know about Alabama Medicaid’s ‘unwinding’

After a continuous enrollment period brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Alabama Medicaid has begun an unwinding process. This “unwinding” will end Medicaid coverage for Medicaid members who don’t meet certain criteria. Read below to find out more about this process, including when and how Medicaid members will need to certify their eligibility. Click here for more about the unwinding and what state officials can do to help protect health coverage in Alabama.

(1) What is the unwinding? The unwinding is a reevaluation of Medicaid eligibility for all Medicaid members. Under federal law, all Medicaid members have been continuously enrolled since March 2020 unless they requested in writing to be removed, moved out of state or died. Enrollment was continuous due to the public health emergency (PHE) prompted by the pandemic. However, after the federal government announced the PHE’s end, the unwinding process began.

(2) Why is Medicaid unwinding? To help prevent health coverage losses during the pandemic, Medicaid members received continuous coverage. Continuous coverage meant that once someone was on the Medicaid rolls, they could remain even if they failed to maintain traditional eligibility requirements. However, the PHE ended May 11, 2023, and continuous eligibility enrollment ended before that on March 31, 2023.

(3) How is Medicaid unwinding? Beginning April 1, 2023, Alabama Medicaid began requiring all Medicaid members to verify eligibility requirements in their renewal month. Alabama Medicaid will notify members via mail prior to their enrollment month.

Medicaid members may verify their enrollment month via the Medicaid recipient portal. Alabama Medicaid also encourages members to update contact information and opt in to receive text or email updates.

(4) How can Medicaid members keep their Medicaid benefits? First, Medicaid members should ensure Medicaid has their current mailing address. People can update their contact information in the recipient portal or by calling 800-362-1504. Second, Medicaid members should be sure to respond to any mailing request from Alabama Medicaid with the information needed to verify eligibility. This response should occur within 60 days of the date listed on the mailing. It is important for Medicaid members to know that Medicaid will only initiate information requests via postal mail. People can contact their local Medicaid office or call 800-362-1504 for more information.

A notice from Alabama Medicaid to check your mail for important information beginning April 1.

(5) How will Medicaid determine eligibility? Medicaid will determine eligibility based on each Medicaid program and eligibility category. More information about those programs and categories is available here. Each has specific requirements that must be met. Medicaid will verify eligibility for each person now enrolled and for new applicants in each program or category.

(6) What if a person is no longer eligible for Medicaid benefits? Current Medicaid members who lose their health coverage during the unwinding period will receive a determination letter stating a loss of eligibility and providing a termination date for coverage. Medicaid members may appeal this determination if they believe they are in fact still eligible for Medicaid coverage. Anyone who is no longer eligible for Medicaid benefits can learn about other insurance options that may be available by visiting Enroll Alabama’s website or dialing 211 from their phone.