Medicaid coverage ends for 32,600 Minnesotans, thousands renew

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On Wednesday, officials gave a first look at how many Minnesotans renewed their Medicaid and how many have not.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

In the first look at Medicaid renewals following the end of a pause to eligibility determinations, the Minnesota Department of Human Services said Wednesday nearly 50,000 people renewed their public insurance eligibility. But coverage stopped for about 32,600 people whose status is unknown.

DHS Commissioner Jodi Harpstead said some likely didn’t submit forms because they already had insurance from an employer or knew they were no longer qualified for MinnesotaCare or Medical Assistance, as Medicaid is called in Minnesota.

Officials also say it’s possible some did not have an updated mailing address on file or did not realize that the documents were important. Minnesotans receive renewal forms, sent on a rolling basis, in the mail.

“This is not just a Minnesota thing, and as we submit our results of our first cohort to the federal government, they will publish results of all 50 states, and we'll see how Minnesota stacks up. But everyone in the nation is facing the same issue,” Harpstead said.

Thousands of Minnesotans need to file paperwork to renew their Medical Assistance coverage after a three-year national pause during the COVID-19 pandemic.

States nationwide were required to restart checking people’s eligibility for Medicaid programs earlier this year after a pandemic pause kept people insured when they were most likely to need health care. The state of emergency ended in April.

According to DHS, about 5.8 million people in other states have had their Medicaid coverage renewed, while approximately 3.7 million people have already lost coverage.

DHS officials say they contacted recipients in a number of ways, from sending direct mail and text messages, to phone calls and some in-person contacts.

“As more people learn about the process, as people do lose coverage, and tell their friends and family to pay attention and get their coverage renewed, I think we're going to see more and more people paying attention and coming in and I think the process will get more robust every month,” said Harpstead.

In May, department officials started the push to alert 97,900 people who have an annual renewal date in July to make sure they still qualified for Medical Assistance. Of that number, Medical Assistance coverage ended for about 5,600 people because they were found ineligible, Harpstead said.

Coverage was extended until Oct. 1 for 10,000 enrollees who get their Medical Assistance coverage based on having a disability, being blind or those who are 65 or older.

DHS officials say those who haven't re-enrolled by Aug. 1 from the July cohort are still eligible to come in until Oct. 1 to renew.

For more information about Medical Assistance renewals, visit

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