AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is providing certain Medicaid recipients an additional 30 days to complete their renewal packets. As part of the unwinding of continuous Medicaid coverage, the federal government is requiring HHSC to redetermine Medicaid eligibility for approximately 6 million Texans over a 12-month period.
“We continue to work tirelessly to renew Medicaid for those who are eligible and to help those who still need assistance get connected to the resources they need,” said HHS Executive Commissioner Cecile Erwin Young. “We hope this additional time will help those who need it to respond to their renewal applications to avoid potential gaps in coverage.”
Medicaid recipients who are eligible to receive additional time to complete their renewals were notified on or around Oct. 10 via mail or posted electronically in their Your Texas Benefits account. Individuals who receive this additional time are most likely to remain eligible for Medicaid coverage, such as older adults and people with disabilities.
HHSC is now more than halfway through the Medicaid redetermination process. The agency has initiated Medicaid redeterminations for 3.5 million Texans, or 59% of the state’s Medicaid population. As it continues to carry out the renewal process for the remaining 41%, HHSC is focused on a targeted outreach campaign for Medicaid’s intellectual or developmental disability (IDD) population, school-aged children and the aging community.
HHSC has implemented multiple technologies to help Medicaid recipients more easily access their online applications and update their information. Medicaid recipients are now able to monitor the status of their application online or through their Your Texas Benefits mobile application. Mobile users can update their Your Texas Benefits app to access this upgrade.
In addition to routine renewal communications, HHSC is using a robust public education campaign across social media platforms including a digital advertising campaign that has reached nearly 2 million users from Oct. 13, 2022, to Aug. 31, 2023. HHSC has hosted eight in-person renewal assistance events across the state in collaboration with the Community Partner Program, Feeding Texas and local food banks.
These pop-up events are specifically designed to guide customers through the renewal of their benefits, offering on-the-ground support and assistance to address any questions they may have about the process and eliminate the need to visit a local office or make calls to the 2-1-1 helpline.
In anticipation of the increase in workload, HHSC has provided frontline eligibility advisors up to a 25% salary increase, which has improved retention among current staff and strengthened recruitment efforts to further boost eligibility operations capacity. Those strategies have reduced the vacancy rate for eligibility advisors from 21.23% in March 2022 to 3.84% in August 2023.
HHSC has developed quality assurance processes to quickly identify and address issues that arise during the unwinding period. The agency continues to implement federally approved waivers and other flexibilities to assist in the unwinding effort, including electronically updating Medicaid recipient addresses and using recent SNAP income data to confirm Medicaid eligibility. In September, HHSC also implemented a new federally approved waiver to allow managed care organizations to help recipients with their renewal applications.
For more information about HHSC’s efforts and related data, visit the latest End of Continuous Medicaid Coverage Dashboard.