Oregon Cancels Medicaid for Thousands After Eligibility Checks

By: - September 5, 2017 12:00 am

A patient applies for Medicaid at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Many states are trying to address backlogs in checking eligibility for Medicaid.

© The Associated Press

Oregon canceled Medicaid benefits for nearly 55,000 residents after completing long-overdue eligibility checks, according to The Oregonian.

The state was one of many to face a backlog in checking eligibility for Medicaid, a joint federal-state health insurance program for the poor and disabled, after seeing a substantial increase in enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.

Oregon checked enrollment for 115,000 recipients, and officials said last week the state had canceled benefits for nearly half of them who either no longer qualified or failed to respond to the state’s requests.

To ensure better eligibility checks in the future and to reduce fraud, Republican lawmakers in many states are proposing tougher and more frequent eligibility checks. Some states, such as Illinois, are hiring private contractors to conduct the checks.

Oregon is working on improving the Medicaid renewal process, and will soon create a new office to improve the follow-up eligibility checks and improve quality control and data, The Oregonian reported.

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Jen Fifield

Jen Fifield reports on rural issues for Stateline, She has covered government in Maryland and Arizona. She has won several regional journalism awards, and was recently a fellow in the Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She graduated with honors from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.