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Texas Approaches Conclusion of ‘Unwinding’ Process, Leading to Medicaid Loss for Almost 1.7 Million Residents

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During the state’s post-pandemic “unwinding” efforts, approximately 1.7 million Texans lost Medicaid coverage, the most of any state.

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Texas Medicaid Unwinding Faces Criticism for Errors and Backlogs

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission‘s removal process has been problematic, removing eligible and ineligible Medicaid recipients. The hectic process rushed to meet with federal pandemic guidelines, has caused backlogs, delays, and inaccuracies in Medicaid and SNAP food benefits applications.

After practically being eliminated, the Health and Human Services Commission will have a major impact on state healthcare. Over 5 million Texas people were covered by Medicaid during the epidemic, mostly impoverished children, mothers, disabled, and elderly seniors. However, the new unwinding procedure has accidentally deleted eligible individuals, worsening Medicaid and SNAP application backlogs.

Austin Democrat Lloyd Doggett called the state’s response “incredible incompetence and indifference to poor people.” He has criticized removal errors and asked for improvements. Medicaid and SNAP application backlogs have increased, leading applicants to wait longer. Medicaid applications alone had 288,939 backlogs, straining the system. Every Texan senior policy analyst Stacey Pogue expressed concern over the state’s unwinding decisions, citing the negative impact on the needy. The incident has sparked calls for a reconsideration of the system and Texas Medicaid administration.

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Challenges Persist as Texas Faces Criticism Over Medicaid Unwinding Process

The state’s unwinding process has been criticized, even if new application wait times have dropped to a month. Food banks are in demand, and uninsured people have few options, which could lead to medical debt. Advocates underline the necessity of resolving systemic challenges to maintain state Medicaid program effectiveness.

To help the Health and Human Services Commission manage backlogs, some have called for a stop in the unwinding process. The state’s limited automated eligibility screening system and staff overtime ideas have been criticized. Advocates call for a comprehensive Medicaid program administration review in Texas as the state renews one million people.

READ ALSO: Nearly 1.7 million Texans lose Medicaid as state nears end of ‘unwinding’

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