Half a million Arizonans at risk of losing Medicaid coverage
Advocates say Medicaid has been a lifeline over the last two years, especially as the demand for mental health care has risen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A federal health emergency has made it easier to enroll in Medicaid. With its expiration due this summer, 25% of Arizona enrollees are at risk of losing their coverage.
“Medicaid and insurance coverage and access to care, it saves thousands of lives each year," Heredia said. "And studies show that it reduces racial disparities in health care, and that it reduces income inequality and medical debt," said Carmen Heredia with Valle del Sol Community Health.
As of November 2021, more than 2 million Arizonans are enrolled in Medicaid. Heredia emphasized the role it plays in health care coverage.
“There are pharmacy needs, X-rays, lab services, surgeries," Heredia said. "All of the things that go with health care, and covered by Medicaid.”
She notes that some who enrolled during the pandemic have not been through the renewal process, making it more difficult for them to keep their coverage.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to correct that some who enrolled in Medicaid during the pandemic have not been through the renewal process.