10 ways COVID-19 is complicating the outlook for Medicaid

Several near-term and long-term challenges will be coming to state Medicaid programs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, from enrollment growth to financial hardships.

Here are 10 ways healthcare business consulting firm Avalere predicts COVID-19 will complicate the outlook for state Medicaid programs: 

1. States will see significant upticks in Medicaid enrollment and high rates of churn due to rising unemployment rates. 

2. Medicaid programs will face budget deficits and federal assistance will be uncertain. 

3. State responses could be held up by paused legislative sessions. 

4. Flexibilities and enhanced funding to help Medicaid programs address COVID-19 will expire at the end of the public health emergency. 

5. Medicaid managed care will be affected by shifts in service use. 

6. Providers with large Medicaid populations, such as behavioral health providers and rural providers, will be increasingly vulnerable. 

7. States that haven't expanded Medicaid will face more pressure to do so. 

8. States may be pausing or reevaluating previously planned reforms. 

9. Medicaid programs will face a backlog of preventive services. 

10. Long-term Medicaid outlook will be shaped by how national and local economies recover. 

Read the full report here

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