Valley Health aims to assist patients with Medicaid, alternative enrollment

During Covid, the Medicaid office could not check for eligibility, and anyone with Medicaid was automatically re-enrolled. Beginning March 2023, the West Virginia DHHR (the Medicaid office) will resume examining eligibility. You may lose Medicaid coverage. 

Effective April 1, 2023, certain Medicaid and WV CHIP recipients who receive care at Valley Health and other health centers will no longer qualify for health care coverage they received during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At Valley Health, we know it’s critical to be informed and prepared for the future, and we believe that responsibility also extends to our patients, too. That’s why we are committed to helping our affected patients by offering support and information needed to make informed decisions about their health insurance.

Some of the efforts Valley Health’s team have taken to best serve our patients so far include: Internal training, phone support, and resource recommendations. Certain members of our staff have received additional training on the Medicaid/WV CHIP unwinding process, which has equipped them with the knowledge needed to answer patients’ questions and connect them with the best resources available. 

We will be continuing these services throughout the coming months, and we encourage you to take advantage of these valuable resources. Though this transition is tedious, we will navigate it together.  

What does this mean?

Nearly three years ago, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Medicaid and WV CHIP services were temporarily and continuously extended as a result of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed into law in March 2020. Through the FFCRA, State Medicaid Agencies were required to assist their beneficiaries with continuous enrollment during the public health emergency. The PHE — and continuous enrollment — will end in April.

At this time, we are encouraging our patients to check their enrollment status and, if eligible, renew or, if ineligible, enroll in alternative health insurance plans. If your Medicaid coverage will be affected by this change, please contact any Valley Health center and request to speak with a front office staff member. They will be able to help you determine your status and guidance as you take the next steps.

Will I be affected? 

If you are currently covered through Medicaid but are unsure if this change will affect your enrollment status, please contact a member of our team at any Valley Health center. Our  front office staff will be available to assist you in determining whether your coverage will end or has ended. 

When should I start this process? 

Health care can be tricky to navigate, but it doesn’t have to be. Below, we’re sharing a few recommendations and resources that will assist you in this transition. 

  1. Get an early start. Though the deadline is distant, we do not advise patients to delay their search for a new insurance plan. It’s never too early to get started, and staying ahead of the deadline will ensure that you have plenty of time to explore options, compare insurance providers, and avoid last-minute stress. 
  2. Ensure your information is up to date. This includes your address, phone number, and an active email address. Having accurate, updated information is the best way to ensure you are receiving all updates and communications from the Valley Health team, your other health care providers, and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).
  3. Stay informed. If you receive paper mail from Valley Health, the DHHR, or another health care provider, do not throw it away, as it may have valuable information regarding your Medicaid status and eligibility. 
  4. Request support if you need it. When in doubt, reach out. Members of the Valley Health team, especially our front office staff, can offer assistance or connect you with resources you need to make informed decisions as the select coverage comes to a close. Our Lead Assister, Brandy, may be reached at 304-781-5166. 

What if my coverage has expired? 

If your coverage is expiring or has expired or you are otherwise ineligible for Medicaid or WV CHIP, you are not alone. The WV DHHR anticipates “between 91,212 and 134,414” Medicaid beneficiaries and “2,184 and 3,494” WV CHIP beneficiaries will lose coverage as a result of this change. But there are many resources dedicated to assisting affected individuals as they search for a new insurance plan and/or enroll in a federal marketplace health insurance plan. 

Check out our resource list below for more information on reenrollment, renewals, and finding the best plan for your needs!

Resources for Medicaid, WV CHIP, and other State Programs and Services

Finding an Insurance Provider

  • Renewing Medicaid or CHIP Coverage: For more information regarding Medicaid enrollment, renewals, reenrollments, and alternative plans visit Medicaid’s website.
  • WV Navigator: WV Navigator is a non-profit organization that offers free enrollment assistance services for individuals who will become or are ineligible for Medicaid or CHIP services.
  • Need health insurance?: Explore the federal Marketplace for health insurance plans that best suit your needs
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