Bill introduced to combat Medicaid beneficiary 'churn'

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A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced legislation aimed at reducing beneficiary “churn” in the Medicaid program.

The bills, introduced in both the House and Senate, would give Medicaid beneficiaries 12 months of continuous enrollment. The idea is reducing churn, or beneficiaries signing up for and dropping out of the program, due to enrollment issues. That turnover leads to inconsistent care, increasing red tape and higher healthcare costs, Bloomberg BNA reported.

Previous research has shown 12-month eligibility would help cut churn by 30%, although the shift could lead to higher administrative costs.

Insurance group Association for Community Affiliated Plans voiced support for the bills, which were referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Finance after being introduced on May 24.

“This is a common-sense, bipartisan solution which strengthens the Medicaid and CHIP programs to assure beneficiaries coverage they can count on through 12 months of continuous enrollment,” said ACAP CEO Margaret A. Murray. “This brings them on par with enrollees in private health plans and Medicare.”