Do You Have Insurance Through Medicaid in Arizona? You Might Want to Read This.

Photo by Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

By Robert Gundran

March 23, 2023

AHCCCS will send out disenrollment notices over a 12-month rolling period starting April 1. 

Hundreds of thousands of Arizonans are at risk of losing their healthcare coverage through Medicaid in the coming weeks.

Starting April 1, Arizona’s Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) will start disenrolling members of the low-cost healthcare program if they are no longer eligible. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government made it possible for states to ensure more residents had access to healthcare coverage by giving Medicaid programs more funding. The only  condition was that they could not drop anyone who enrolled as of March 18, 2020. States also couldn’t remove new people who enrolled in the program, even if they became ineligible.

In December 2022, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which set March 31 of this year as an end date for this protection. 

According to the Associated Press, up to 14 million Americans could lose access to Medicaid once states start disenrolling members. 

If you’re currently one of the thousands of Arizonans who are able to go to the doctor at low or no cost because of Medicaid, here’s what you need to know.

Who and What Is Covered by Medicaid?

Roughly 75% of Medicaid renewals are determined automatically by using data from the IRS and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The federal and state government use data available to them to determine who is eligible for Medicaid renewal. A majority of Americans and Arizonans on Medicaid meet this threshold.

The 25% of people who aren’t auto-renewed due to missing or incomplete information will get a packet by mail or notification by email, according to AHCCCS. That packet will include information about how to renew their Medicaid or reenroll in the program. 

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AHCCCS said roughly 2.4 million Arizonans are enrolled in Medicaid, which means around 670,000 are at risk of being kicked from the system. 

Medicaid typically covers preventative doctors’ visits, hospital stays, and trips to the emergency room. It doesn’t cover dental or vision care for people over 21.

How Do Arizonans Know if They’re Eligible?

AHCCCS made an online tool for Arizonans to determine whether they qualify for coverage based on their income and household size. 

Applicants generally have to meet an income limit in order to qualify for Medicaid. For example, the qualifying household income for a single adult in Arizona is $19,392, while the income limit for a family of four is $42,300. 

Income limits are different for Arizonans who are pregnant or older than 64

How Do I Stay Enrolled?

If you’re enrolled in Medicaid, double check that your information is up to date with AHCCCS. The agency asked all members to make sure their mailing address, email address, and phone number are all correct in Health-e-Arizona Plus, an online application for medical coverage for Arizonans. 

You can also call 1-8555-HEA-PLUS from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to update information. 

When Are Disenrollment Notices Being Sent Out?

AHCCCS will send out disenrollment notices over a 12-month rolling period starting April 1. 

If you get such a notice, you have 90 days to appeal without needing to submit a new Medicaid application. 

If AHCCCS enrollees now earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid, they can find plans with federal subsidies through plans via, the federal healthcare marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. A special enrollment period for people who lose Medicaid starts March 31 and runs through July 31, 2024. 

Arizonans who need assistance enrolling in health insurance can access Cover Arizona for free. They can access the service online or by calling 1-800-377-3536 or 2-1-1 for an appointment.

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  • Robert Gundran

    Robert Gundran grew up in the Southwest, spending equal time in the Valley and Southern California throughout his life. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in 2018 and wrote for The Arizona Republic and The Orange County Register.

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