The number of Pennsylvania children covered through Medicaid has gone down by about 89,000 in recent months.
This includes many kids with life-threatening medical needs who were hastily — and wrongly — cut from Medicaid despite meeting the eligibility requirements.
This was reported by George Hoover in pennlive.com.
Those wrongly dropped from Medicaid included a 5-year-old undergoing treatments for leukemia and an infant with congenital heart deformities.
They also include a severely disabled 12-year-old who needs home health care and a pair of 9-year-old twins — one diagnosed with autism, the other with a hearing impairment — who rely on Medicaid to provide supports and services critical to their development and learning.
Many of these children rely on Medicaid not only for physical health services, but also critical behavioral health services that help them get by day to day. To understand how this happened and how we can fix it requires a quick history of the health care coverage crisis that has been quietly unfolding in Pennsylvania since last summer.
Last August, the Department of Public Welfare began sending out hundreds of thousands of renewal notices to Pennsylvania families receiving Medicaid, allowing these families 10 to 15 days to provide documentation to keep their children enrolled in Medicaid.
If DPW did not receive and process all requested paperwork within this 10 to 15-day deadline, the child was dropped from Medicaid, even if the deadline was missed due to DPW's own bureaucratic backlogs.