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Do You Have Medicaid or a Child With CHIP Coverage? Renewals Are Coming Up

Make sure your address and phone number are up to date with Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services before Saturday, April 1

Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage through the state of Pennsylvania

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If you or a loved one gets Medical Assistance (MA), also known as Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage through the state of Pennsylvania, it’s important to know that continuous coverage for these programs is ending on Saturday, April 1.

This means that all MA and CHIP recipients must complete an annual renewal to see if they are still eligible for coverage. In order to receive these renewal documents, they need to make sure the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) has their correct address and phone number.

To help you understand the reason for this change and the steps you should take before and after Saturday, April 1, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions from the DHS website below:

The best thing you can do now is make sure your address and phone number are up to date with DHS so they can send you important information about your coverage.

Q: What is continuous coverage and why is it ending?

A: In March 2020, the federal government allowed states to keep Medicaid and CHIP coverage open regardless of eligibility as part of COVID-19 pandemic relief. Pennsylvania continued to send annual renewal packets during this time, but most people did not lose coverage for changes in income or for not completing their renewal.

A federal law passed in December 2022 ends continuous coverage on April 1, 2023. As of April 1, 2023, DHS must end MA and/or CHIP coverage if a person does not complete their renewal or if they have income or other changes that make them ineligible for MA or CHIP at the time of their renewal.

Renewals will take place over 12 months, and no one will be disenrolled without having a chance to complete a renewal.

Q: What does this mean for me?

A: You will get a renewal packet in the mail when it is time to renew your MA. You will start to receive information in the mail about your renewal 90 days before it is due.

It is very important that you complete and return the renewal forms. Please complete your renewal if you know your case has changed OR if nothing has changed. By completing your renewal, DHS can keep your MA or CHIP coverage open or connect you to other affordable health coverage options if you no longer qualify. There are four ways you can complete and submit your renewal:

  • By mail: Complete and return the forms by mailing them back in the provided envelope.
  • Online: Complete your renewal online in COMPASS.
  • Telephone: Call 1-866-550-4355 to talk to a customer service representative.
  • In person: Complete and submit your renewal in person at any local county assistance office.

Completing your renewal will help DHS determine if you are still eligible for MA. If you are still eligible, your MA coverage will continue.

Q: What do I need to do now?

A: The best thing you can do now is make sure your address and phone number are up to date with DHS so they can send you important information about your coverage. You can update your information by contacting the Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930 or 1-215-560-7226 in Philadelphia or reporting it online through your COMPASS account:

Q: When do I have to renew my benefits?

A: Everyone's renewal date is different. You will start to get information about your renewal about 90 days before your renewal is due. You can opt in to receive text messages from DHS. They will text you when your renewal packet is mailed, and you will also receive other important alerts and reminders about your benefits.

If you receive a renewal packet, you must complete it by the due date listed on the packet or your MA or CHIP coverage could stop. If you are no longer eligible or you do not return your packet, you will receive a notice in the mail telling you when your coverage is scheduled to end.

Not all renewals will be sent right after April 1, 2023. The process of doing everyone's renewals will take 12 months, so be on the lookout for your packet when it is your turn to renew your coverage. If you sign up for alerts, DHS can send you a text message when your renewal is mailed.

Q: What happens if I do not return my renewal forms?

A: If you do not return your renewal, DHS will have to end your coverage. If that happens, you can reapply for MA and/or CHIP at any time. You may also get information about coverage available through Pennie, Pennsylvania's official health and dental coverage marketplace, if it is an option for you.

Q: How can I complete my MA renewal once I get it?

A: There are a few ways for you to complete your renewal:

  • You can complete the forms DHS sends you and mail them back in the envelope included in the packet.
  • You can drop your completed forms off at your local County Assistance Office.
  • You can complete your renewal on the COMPASS website.
  • You can complete your renewal by phone by calling 1-866-550-4355.

Q: What happens if I’m not eligible for Medical Assistance anymore?

A: If your renewal shows that you are no longer eligible for MA, there are options for you to stay covered. If you are not eligible for MA and are age 19 or older, DHS will send the information you gave them to Pennie. Pennie can help you review your coverage options and learn about financial assistance that may be available to help you pay for your coverage. DHS will send you a letter telling you that they have sent your information to Pennie.

Children who are under 19 and not eligible for MA will be directly connected to CHIP and parents will learn more about coverage.

If you believe DHS made a mistake when they conducted your renewal and found you ineligible for MA, you can appeal that decision. Directions for how to appeal are on the notice you get from DHS. You can also provide DHS with information that you did not give them in your renewal, and they can check to see if that changes your eligibility.

Financial services and social work support available through LVHN

LVHN's patient financial services team has partnered with Physician and Tactical Healthcare Services (PATHS) to set up a dedicated call center regarding Medicaid and CHIP renewals. If you have questions about how these changes may affect your coverage, you can reach this resource by calling 833-226-5921.

You can also contact LVHN’s social work services team for assistance with your renewal paperwork and navigating all insurance options at 484‐862‐3510.

*The information in this blog was taken directly from the DHS website. To access their resources:

 Click here.

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