August 24, 2020, Kaiser Family Foundation, Robin Rudowitz, Bradley Corallo, and Samantha Artiga – This data note looks at national and state-by-state Medicaid and CHIP preliminary enrollment data through May 2020, as states were still in the early stages of experiencing the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.Data show that after declines in enrollment from December 2017 through December 2019, total enrollment grew to 73.5 million in May, an increase of 0.8 million from April 2020 (1%) and 2.3 million from February (3.2%), right before the pandemic.
August 17, 2020, Kaiser Family Foundation – Medicaid expansion was a key issue in the 2019 Mississippi gubernatorial election, dividing candidates in both the August 27 Republican primary and in the November 5 general election. Republican Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, who adamantly opposes expansion, ultimately won both races, making it unlikely that the state will take up expansion in the next four years.
August 15, 2020, The Clarion Ledger, Marisa Dowling, Janice Blanchard, Jennifer Lee and Loretta Jackson Williams – With unemployment at record highs and more than 2,000 Mississippians dead and over 71,000 infected with coronavirus, 2020 has been decidedly bleak. But, Mississippians hold a critical tool to help families with COVID-19 related job loss and illness: the ability to expand Medicaid via ballot initiative. On Aug. 4, Missouri became the latest state to use this measure to expand Medicaid. Five other states have already done so.While the issue of Medicaid expansion is politically charged, for the public it has clear benefits: Medicaid saves lives, stabilizes our health care system, and helps the economy.
August 4, 2020, Associated Press, Suman Naishadham, Carla K. Johnson and Philip Marcelo – In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves grudgingly reversed course and announced a statewide order requiring the wearing of masks because of a resurgence of the virus. He also delayed the start of the school year for upper grades in eight hard-hit counties. “Wearing a mask — as irritating as it can be, and I promise you I hate it more than anyone watching today — is critical,” he said.
Newly uninsured have yet to enroll in MeAugust 4, 2020, Modern Healthcare, Shelby Livingston – Many people don’t know their coverage options, especially those who have never gone through this before,” said Joe Weissfield, director of Medicaid initiatives at consumer healthcare advocacy organization Families USA. “Navigating the process is time consuming and confusing. This is where enrollment assisters are so important … Unfortunately, funding for these assisters has been on the decline and the work is increasingly difficult due to COVID-19.” Weissfield said that despite the lag in enrollment among newly uninsured, he suspects that a “tsunami” of enrollment is around the corner.