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Medicaid’s Great Unwinding gives agents unique opportunity

Medicaid’s Great Unwinding gives agents unique opportunity

Official estimates report nearly 25% of Michigan’s population is receiving Medicaid or CHIP benefits. The recently passed federal budget legislation will compel states to begin unwinding their Medicaid rolls, regardless of whether the public health emergency is still in effect. Position yourself to serve those who may lose eligibility – and continue growing your individual business.

Medicaid numbers have never been higher. But the public health crisis is coming to a close, as are the government programs put in place to protect those who were adversely affected by the pandemic. Now, a vast yet unknown number of Michiganders are on the cusp of losing their health insurance or experiencing a gap in coverage.

While no one knows quite how many people will lose Medicaid eligibility, the latest guidance from the state tells us that we can expect significant numbers of Medicaid redeterminations after April 1, 2023—the new Medicaid unwinding date put in place by the recent federal omnibus package. Here are a few steps health insurance agents and brokers can take to safeguard clients who will find themselves without insurance—and suddenly eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

Use tools provided by the Marketplace

Ensure you are listed and up to date on the Find Local Help online directory provided through healthcare.gov. This directory allows the public to search their area for agents/brokers. If you do not include your contact information, or how you stand apart from the others, you could be missing out on potential new business.

Another tool is the Help On Demand consumer assistance referral system. This service works to quickly connect customers who are ready to buy with agents who can immediately assist them. This system matches clients and agents using language and geography as two key criteria, which can be helpful in feeding you warm leads.

Tap local media

You’re an expert in this complicated industry; local radio, television and newspapers will need expert sources as they educate the public about upcoming changes. Keep a pulse on this situation and be proactive in offering commentary, writing letters to the editor, and reaching out to reporters for possible interviews. Each of these opportunities expands your potential audience and will further cement you as a trustworthy professional. Don’t be surprised if new business comes knocking at your door afterward.

Remember referrals

In this business, you get what you ask for. When you come across a lead from the Marketplace, your media outreach, or any other source, ask for referrals after you’ve made the sale. Many consumers aren’t aware that independent agents thrive on word-of-mouth advertising. Nothing better than a client advocate!

Final thoughts

Many who are losing Medicaid benefits are not sure where to turn next. Get in front of them. Post. Advertise. Make media outreach. Let them know they have options and that you can help them understand what they are.