As a dedicated advocate and service provider for the homeless community in Tulsa, you’re likely aware of the critical role Medicaid plays in supporting low-income individuals. However, a significant change is on the horizon. After a three-year hiatus, Medicaid is reinstating its annual renewal requirement. This shift poses a substantial risk for many, particularly those experiencing homelessness.
An estimated 15 million Medicaid members nationwide face the possibility of losing their coverage. Alarmingly, nearly 7 million of these individuals may still be eligible but are at risk due to procedural hurdles. For those experiencing homelessness, the challenge is even more acute. Renewal notifications are sent to the last known mailing address, which, for many people without a home, may be outdated or non-existent. This means they might remain unaware of the renewal requirement, leading to a loss of this essential health care resource.
Homebase has created resources – including a toolkit, executive summary, and forthcoming toolkit in Spanish – to help people experiencing homelessness maintain their coverage. The toolkit equips service providers, people experiencing homelessness, Medicaid experts and partners, and communities to keep current Medicaid members covered.
The toolkit includes:
Background on Medicaid and Renewal Process: A thorough understanding of Medicaid’s structure and the specifics of the annual renewal requirement.
Impact on the Homeless: Insights into how these changes disproportionately affect those without stable housing.
Actionable Steps for Service Providers: Practical tips and strategies that you, as a service provider, can employ to help your clients maintain their Medicaid coverage.
State-Specific Policy Landscape: Resources to keep you informed about the unique Medicaid policies and procedures in Oklahoma.
Guidance for People Experiencing Homelessness: Direct advice for individuals experiencing homelessness on how to navigate the renewal process successfully.
Medicaid is more than just a health insurance program; it’s a lifeline for many of the individuals you serve. Losing this coverage could mean the difference between receiving necessary medical care and facing daunting health challenges without support. As service providers, our role in guiding and assisting our clients through this process cannot be overstated.
Educate Yourself and Your Team: Familiarize yourself with the toolkit and its contents. Knowledge is power, especially in times of change.
Communicate with Clients: Actively reach out to your clients to inform them about the renewal process and offer assistance.
Collaborate with Partners: Work alongside other organizations and Medicaid experts to ensure a cohesive approach.
Stay Updated: Policies may evolve, so it’s crucial to stay informed about any further changes or updates.
The reinstatement of Medicaid’s annual renewal process represents a significant challenge for the homeless community in Tulsa. However, with the right tools and a collective effort, we can help ensure that those in need don’t lose access to vital health care services. Let’s work together to make a difference in the lives of our community’s most vulnerable members.