Policy Change Will Impact People on Medical Assistance

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is implementing a policy change effective September 1, 2019 that could result in people with mental illnesses on MA losing their health insurance. People who are on Medical Assistance (MA) due to their disability (on a CADI waiver, MA-EPD, live in a long term care facility, etc.) must complete and sign a new form to allow the state to verify that their assets are not exceeding the limit. The state is mailing out this form between now and April 2020, with some people having received it in August. Signed forms must be returned to the address listed in the letter. This does not impact children on MA.

The problem with the policy is that individuals will have 10 days to return this form. If this form is not returned within this time period the bulletin states that the person will lose their MA. DHS said that MA disability recipients will receive a second letter notifying them that they will lose their health insurance on the first of the month if they do not return this form in ten days.

Ten days is simply not enough time. It presumes that people’s addresses are current, that they open their mail daily or at least once a week, that they have an envelope and stamp, that they are at home and not in the hospital or residential treatment, and that they will be able to understand how to fill out the form without assistance. We are worried that people will not send the form back resulting in them losing their health insurance.

If you or a loved one is receiving Medical Assistance due to a disability, it is very important that you check your mail and promptly return this form to your county. If you aren’t going to meet the 10-day timeline or the deadline has passed, please contact your case manager or financial worker right away. Please contact us at namihelps@namimn.org if you have any questions about this process or you are at risk of losing your health insurance due to this change.