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State Medicaid rolls drop 5 percent after rocky redetermination process

State health officials say the number of Montanans on Medicaid is down roughly 5 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. That’s according to the state’s final report on its Medicaid redetermination process.

During the pandemic, states couldn’t unenroll anyone on Medicaid, which led to a big increase in the number of people on the rolls. That changed last year when states started the process of assessing everyone’s eligibility.

The state health department issued its final report on the process, saying there are about 5,000 fewer people on Medicaid compared to enrollment in early 2020.

According to state data, about 135,000 people lost Medicaid coverage during the redetermination process. About two-thirds of those people lost coverage for procedural reasons.

It’s unclear how many of those people may reapply or were ineligible. The state said it plans to improve wait times on the state help line and at public assistance offices and its systems that can automatically determine Medicaid eligibility.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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