Some enrollees for Texas Medicaid health insurance will not be eligible for coverage under the new law Houston Public Media

Miguel Gutierrez Jr / KUT

The working poor in Texas are too poor to qualify for coverage on, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid.

A federal emergency law put in place at the start of the pandemic in 2020 that prevented Texas residents from dropping out of Medicaid will expire in April.

About 1.6 million Texans participated in the state’s Medicaid program during the pandemic. This increases the subscription to more than 5 million. Those who applied were allowed to stay on Medicaid and were exempted from completing the usual renewal forms based on eligibility and income.

Medicaid enrollees are typically low-income children, pregnant women, and parents of dependent children. According to a report from researchers at Texas A&M and the Episcopal Health Foundation, some enrollees may drop after the emergency law.

Laura Dague is an assistant professor of public service and management at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M. Through his research, he found that children would be the most likely to lose health insurance. If someone’s situation has changed since applying for Medicaid because they have more family in the family or because their income has increased, they may be at risk.

In those cases, Dague said Texans may need to look for other types of insurance. On behalf of Medicaid, he said parents whose children no longer qualify may be able to apply for the CHIP program.

“CHIP is for kids who have a little higher income than Medicaid,” Dague said. “If someone is still young and still low-income, they can qualify for CHIP and the state will help them understand that.”

Dague also said that seniors will no longer be eligible for more health insurance options because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA could give families who saw their incomes increase with lower or no insurance.

“It used to be harder to get family insurance through the marketplace, but now even if a parent has insurance for themselves through their job, they may be able to get help. for their son,” Dague said.

Even so, Dague’s research shows that many women and young adults may fall into the health insurance “gap.” This gap occurs when income is too high for Medicaid, but too low to qualify for federal assistance to purchase ACA health insurance.

The president and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation, Dr. Ann Barnes, in a statement that many will lose their health insurance and will not have a guide for other options.

“There needs to be more awareness of how the outcome of this public health emergency will help among health insurers in Texas,” Barnes said.

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