States continue to work on redetermining Medicaid eligibility for those who were enrolled in the program during the period of continuous eligibility that extended through the COVID-19 public health emergency and ended on March 31.

Six months into what has come to be known as Medicaid unwinding, approximately 30 percent of the 95 million people enrolled in the program when the unwinding process officially began have now had their eligibility reviewed.  Among them, 16 million have seen their eligibility renewed while 8.8 million have been disenrolled from the program.

The numbers vary considerably from state to state, with different states starting their unwinding work at different times, proceeding at different rates, and employing different review methodologies.  In addition, the federal government, unhappy with how 30 states were performing their reviews, intervened by reversing some disenrollments and requiring those states to employ specific mitigation strategies in the future.

Medicaid unwinding is of particular importance to community safety-net hospitals, which care for more Medicaid and low-income patients than most other hospitals.  With signs that fewer people who lose their Medicaid eligibility are finding alternative coverage on health care exchanges than was expected, these hospitals face the possibility that some of their current patients may be uninsured and such hospitals may receive little or no reimbursement for the care they provide to these newly uninsured individuals.

For a closer look at Medicaid unwinding across the country, including data on each state through mid-October, see the KFF Health News article “Six Months into the Medicaid Unwinding: What Do the Data Show and What Questions Remain?