LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada will reinstate coverage for 130,000 people who were kicked off Medicaid because of a procedural error. Many of those who lost coverage were children.
Gov. Joe Lombardo and the Nevada Board of Examiners were informed of the number in a Tuesday meeting. 8 News Now reported the problem last week, but the number of people affected was not known at the time. Many of those affected are children.
Kelly Cantrelle, Deputy Administrator of the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services, described the situation to the governor. A yearlong “ex-parte” review of Medicaid recipients was intended to remove only those who were no longer eligible due to the expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency. That involved mailing notices to people who were deemed ineligible, with one batch of Medicaid recipients reviewed each month. Notices started going out in June.
“Currently, when one person in a household fails that ex-parte for any reason, the entire household is mailed out a renewal packet. And historically, the way we’ve always done it, is when that renewal packet gets mailed out if it isn’t returned the entire household is terminated. And that’s known as a procedural termination,” Cantrelle said.
But Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent out a notice on Aug. 30 that the review shouldn’t apply to entire households. CMS found 10-13 states had applied procedural termination at the household level when they should have reviewed each individual.
The Nevada review process was immediately stopped.
Cantrelle said the changes are being applied, and the review process will begin again with notices going out in January 2024.
Medicaid recipients eligible under COVID-19 public health emergency rules will retain Medicaid access until they come up for review.
CMS found that the household reviews were improperly denying Medicaid or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits to many who should still be eligible.