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Carter, Dunn introduce Medicaid Staffing Flexibility and Protection Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Reps. Earl L. "Buddy" Carter (R-GA) and Neal Dunn (R-FL) this week introduced the Medicaid Staffing Flexibility and Protection Act, which alleviates staffing shortages at state Medicaid agencies so that beneficiaries do not lose their coverage due to procedural or staffing issues.

During the pandemic, states were required to continuously enroll people into Medicaid for the duration of the public health emergency, regardless of changes to the enrollee’s eligibility. Four months after this program ended, some states are still struggling to work through redetermining the eligibility for the nearly 95 million Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) beneficiaries, which has already caused eligible Americans to lose their coverage. With 229,000 local government jobs and 133,000 state government jobs yet to be recovered since February 2020, some states do not have the workforce to handle this massive task.

This bill provides states the flexibility and resources they need by allowing them the option to hire outside contractors to help work through this backlog, ensuring that those who need these essential health care benefits receive them.

"This common-sense solution allows states to meet their obligations to Medicaid and CHIP enrollees," said Rep. Carter. "I’ve heard from Georgians who are concerned that their family will lose access to necessary, life-saving care, for no reason other than workforce and staffing challenges. This bill will equip states with the tools they need to review these applications and give beneficiaries the coverage and peace of mind they need."

“As states work diligently to protect taxpayer dollars and maintain the integrity of their Medicaid programs, it is important that they have the options they need to efficiently execute the redetermination process. The Medicaid Staffing Flexibility and Protection Act will give states the freedom to contract out certain services related to the necessary redetermination process to private partners if they choose to. States may choose to do so due to workforce shortages which are being felt acutely across the nation,” said Rep. Dunn.

Read the full bill text here.