The state is terminating Medicaid assistance for about 17,000 poor, elderly or disabled Georgians. The state Department of Community Health said the 17,000 had simply not responded to renewal notices informing them how to continue their coverage.
But legal advocates say the state is to blame for the situation.
Attorney Robert Bush with the Savannah Regional Office of the nonprofit law firm Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) says renewal notices never made it to some clients.
“We investigated. We went online to the state’s databases and the state’s database revealed that the renewal notices that were supposed to be sent to these clients were not sent to these clients,” Bush said.
People affected could submit either a renewal or application form in the three months after their closure. If they still qualify, their coverage will be reinstated back to the first of June, said GLSP attorney Vicky Kimbrell.
GLSP says they have written the state Department of Community Health in an attempt to get the move reversed: “Asking them to correct their oversight, to rescind these termination notices they have sent out and to put back in place the lawful procedure they should have followed,” Bush said.
“It is important to note that the number represents individuals with overdue renewals who had been non-responsive to the notices they received at the time they were up for renewal,” a DCH spokeswoman, Fiona Roberts, said in an email to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
“When their eligibility was up, they had not responded to their notices, therefore, their cases were closed because they did not complete the renewal process.”
While this issue is being sorted out, GLSP says to request a hearing and the continuation of your benefits as you await it. Then contact their Public Benefits Hotline at 1-888-632-6332.