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Ensuring Access to Health Care for Medicaid and CHIP Enrolled Children During and Beyond the Public Health Emergency

Organization: Manatt Health Solutions

Primary Contact: Cindy Mann

Grant Amount: $150,000 for 6 months

Date Awarded:


One of the key issues facing families and policymakers as the COVID-19 pandemic transitions to an endemic issue is the impending “unwinding” of continuous coverage under Medicaid and the end to state flexibilities granted for the duration of the public health emergency. About half of all children in the US have insurance coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Since the beginning of the pandemic, all states have been federally required to maintain continuous Medicaid coverage for children who were covered as of March 2020. It is likely that these coverage requirements will expire in 2022, leaving states to redetermine eligibility for millions of pending Medicaid cases. There is an extremely high risk that individuals will become uninsured even though they may continue to remain eligible for coverage. This is a life-and-death issue for children with special health care needs (CSHCN). Building on previous foundation-funded work to ensure access to Medicaid services for CSHCN, Manatt will prepare a set of rapid response policy briefs on key policy and operational recommendations to help minimize insurance coverage losses for CSHCN during the unwinding. A set of topic-specific one-pagers to support state-level advocacy efforts by family leaders also will be developed. This project will be conducted in partnership with Family Voices. This partnership will encompass regular meetings to share emerging issues that will impact CSHCN at the end of the public health emergency, targeted technical assistance to support state-level advocacy efforts by family organizations, and financial support for family engagement.

Related Resources

This issue brief reviews the importance of continuity of coverage for all children now that the COVID-19 public health emergency has ended, and highlights state opportunities to improve eligibility and enrollment policies and procedures.

The unwinding of the COVID-19 public health emergency means states must redetermine eligibility for millions of children and families. Partnering with community-based organizations, family-led organizations, and individuals with lived experience to engage their communities can help support efforts to ensure continuity of coverage. This issue brief provides recommendations for states work with these organizations to mitigate coverage loss.

This issue brief provides an overview of the telehealth response to COVID-19, outlines temporary state policy flexibilities that improved access to pediatric telehealth services, and highlights opportunities for permanent state policy expansions to maintain access to pediatric telehealth services within Medicaid now that the COVID-19 public health emergency has ended.

The unwinding of the COVID-19 public health emergency presents a challenge for many families whose children will now need to undergo a Medicaid eligibility redetermination. Cara Coleman, director of public policy and advocacy at Family Voices, shares her perspective on the challenges ahead and how to advocate for CYSHCN and their families.