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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

ND Issues Medicaid Renewal Plea After Thousands Disenrolled

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Tuesday, June 6, 2023   

North Dakota officials are urging people receiving health coverage through a key public program to stay on top of their renewal if they are still eligible. It follows the end of pandemic rules for Medicaid. At the start of the COVID crisis, Congress paved the way for states to keep people continuously enrolled in Medicaid. But with the public health emergency over, states such as North Dakota are unwinding the provision.

Krista Fremming, interim medical services division director of the North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services explained when they recently sent out renewal notices, only one in three people returned them. She pointed out it is possible that some people found other options, but her team suspects many who still need help did not take the necessary steps to secure it.

"For the forms that were returned, about seven in ten people still qualified," she added. "So, that gives a good indication that many of the unreturned forms are for people who would still qualify. And we want to continue their coverage, if they do. "

She said more than 4,000 people were disenrolled last Wednesday. The state carried out a media campaign, as well as outreach with providers, in hopes of ensuring recipients knew the forms were mailed to them. Fremming said the state is exploring other ways to connect with members. Those who were disenrolled have 90 days to return the forms to receive back-dated Medicaid coverage if they still qualify.

Fremming added they are especially worried about households with children losing coverage.

"We know that getting vaccinations and having access to dental care and behavioral health services are so important to laying a strong foundation for children as they grow up," she continued.

North Dakota has an auto-renewal process to make it easier for staff to verify if an individual still qualifies for coverage. But Fremming said it is still new and limited, and added it does not include people who have self-employment income, or who are subject to asset tests. Meanwhile, renewal forms are mailed out around the 20th of each month and are due within 30 days.


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