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Seniors should watch for Georgia health insurance letter
Kat Montgomery
Georgia Legal Services Program Paralegal Kat Montgomery explains to seniors to make sure they respond to a coming letter regarding Medicaid redetermination. (Submitted photo.)

Special to the Herald

 

SPRINGFIELD – Medicaid recipients need to keep a close eye on their mailboxes.

More than 90 million individuals can expect Medicaid redetermination notices to arrive. The letters for Effingham County residents will come from the Georgia Department of Human Services.

Georgia Legal Services Program Paralegal Kat Montgomery explained the situation to Effingham County Senior Citizens Center members on Aug. 3.

“If you don’t respond to the letter, they will terminate your health care because they are going to assume that you don’t need it anymore,” she warned.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which allowed Medicaid recipients to remain eligible for continuous coverage even if their eligibility status changed during the public health emergency that ended in May.

“They wanted to make sure everyone had health care,” Montgomery said.

Redetermination is the process that Georgia and the rest of the states must follow to make sure that current Medicaid members are still eligible for coverage. This involves collecting and verifying information, including income and contact details, as well as other requested items related to determining eligibility.

Medicaid is a federal system of health insurance for those requiring financial assistance.

“If you receive Medicaid services or the state pays for any part of your health insurance, this applies to you,” Montgomery said. “You are going to have to recertify your income, which is something that people have not had to do since (the COVID-19 pandemic started in 2020).

“That’s why it’s important. We want everyone to be aware that this is happening.”

The redetermination process started in April but no one at the center has received a notice as of yet. Montgomery said she knows of only one person in her 11-county GLSP region who has.

Montgomery suggested a few ways to update contact information to help ensure a redetermination letter is received.

“They are going to send you a letter around the time (of the year) that you originally signed up for these services,” she said. “If you don’t know when you signed up, you can check Gateway (https://m.gateway.ga.gov.) You can also go up to the (Department of Family Services Office) and talk to someone, which is what I recommend doing.”

DFACS case managers are available by appointment only. The phone number for the Effingham County office, located at 214 Franklin St., Springfield, is 912-754-6471.

Montgomery also suggested contacting DFACS via email at customerserviceDHS@dhs.ga.gov or calling 1-877-423-4746.

“These are just ways to update your contact information so that you get the notice,” she said. “That’s kind of Step One … If that stuff is not updated in their system -- and It’s been about three or four years since they made everyone do this -- they might not have the updated information.

“That’s why we are pushing people to make sure their information is updated.”

Georgia must complete all redeterminations, pending eligibility actions, disenrollments and appeals, by May 31, 2024.

If you have Medicaid redetermination problems, call the Georgia Legal Services Program, a 501(c)(3) organization, at 1-888-632-6332.