AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is extending its renewal deadline for “certain” Medicaid recipients after the federal government required HHSC to redetermine eligibility for approximately six million Texans over a 12-month period, according to a release from HHSC.
Those Medicaid recipients will receive an “additional 30 days to complete their renewal packets,” HHSC said.
A group of HHSC employees went public in August with concerns about delays and denials in coverage.
Whistleblowers first flagged the concerns in an internal email to leadership in July. At the time, the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) confirmed technical issues occurred while the agency reviewed the eligibility of its roughly six million Medicaid enrollees, in order to come into compliance with new federal guidelines.
At the time, a spokesperson for the agency called the year-long process a “massive undertaking” and acknowledged the internal issues resulted in improper denials, including “several thousand” pregnant and elderly people being kicked off coverage. The spokesperson also said it was working to restore coverage to those erroneously removed “as soon as possible.”
“We continue to work tirelessly to renew Medicaid for those who are eligible and to help those who still need assistance get connected to the resources they need,” HHS Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young said in Tuesday’s release. “We hope this additional time will help those who need it to respond to their renewal applications to avoid potential gaps in coverage.”
HHSC said the redetermination process has been started for about 3.5 million Texans, 59%, of the state’s Medicaid population. HHSC said it is also using multiple technologies to help Medicaid recipients easily update their information and access their online applications.
Additionally, HHSC said it has hosted renewal assistance events throughout Texas with its Community Partner program, Feeding Texas and local food banks. The events provide support and help customers through the renewal process without visiting an office or calling the 211 helpline.
HHSC has more information listed on this coverage dashboard.