Med-QUEST – Stay Well Stay Covered – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)Posted on Feb 16, 2023 in Featured, Main
Throughout the pandemic, all Medicaid members received continuous uninterrupted coverage amid the public health emergency. Med-QUEST Division will begin reaching out to members in March 2023 to let them know what month their eligibility will be redetermined. This eligibility renewal work will begin in April and be spread out across 12 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the public health emergency and how did it affect members?
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government declared a public health emergency (PHE). During the PHE, Medicaid agencies like QUEST Integration (Hawai`i’s Medicaid program) did not disenroll members, even if someone’s eligibility changed. In December 2022, Congress passed legislation which decoupled the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement from the COVID-19 PHE and instead directed that the continuous coverage requirement would end on March 31, 2023, regardless of the PHE dates.
2, What can members expect when the renewal process begins in April 2023?
The notification process will happen over a one-year period starting in April, 2023 and ending in March, 2024. Because of the sheer number of current members–over 465,000+ to date–not all Members will receive notification at the same time. Member renewals have been divided evenly across the 12-month period.
3. What can members do to prepare for renewal?
In preparation for this renewal period, Med-QUEST asks members to do the following:
- Be sure to update your contact information by logging into your account on Medical.mybenefits.hawaii.gov or by calling the Health Plan number on the back of your insurance card.
- If you no longer need QUEST (Medicaid) coverage, call us at 1-800-316-8005, (TTY/TDD 711) to let us know.
- Starting In April, be on the lookout for a pink envelope with a pink letter that will provide instructions on eligibility renewals. This pink letter may require a response in order to maintain health coverage. Be sure to read the letter and follow all instructions, if applicable.
- If you need coverage but no longer qualify for Med-QUEST, please check with your employer to see if you are eligible for health insurance coverage.
- If you are not eligible for health insurance through your employer, please visit the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.Gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596 to make sure you stay well and stay covered!
4. When and how will members receive renewal notification?
One month prior to their month of renewal, members will be mailed a pink envelope with a pink letter that will contain eligibility instructions. Starting in April, we will begin reviewing cases with a May renewal date. If those members with May renewal dates are no longer eligible, their coverage may end as early as June 1, 2023.
5. Can my household renew at the same time, or will we receive separate renewal letters?
With very few exceptions, MQD will renew an entire household at the same time.
6. Can I continue with the same health plan when I renew?
In most cases, yes, unless you have moved, and your current health plan is not available in your new location.
7. If it is determined that a member is no longer eligible for Medicaid, what happens?
A member who is no longer eligible, will receive:
- Notice of when your enrollment will end,
- Information on how to appeal that decision if you believe the disenrollment was in error, and
- Information about other health care coverage options available from Healthcare.gov
8. If a member is no longer eligible for Medicaid, where can he/she find health care coverage?
- If you need coverage but no longer qualify for Med-QUEST, visit the Health Insurance Marketplace at HealthCare.Gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596.
- If you need additional assistance navigating the Health Insurance Marketplace, MQD’s Health Care Outreach Branch as well as its community partner organizations (listed at medicaid.hawaii.gov/gethelp )can assist with this transition. Some of the Med-QUEST Health Plans may also assist their exiting members with the transition from Medicaid to the Marketplace.
- Veterans may also find more health care resources at VA Pacific Islands Health Care.
9. What is being done to reach members?
We have already started a mass media campaign, including ads in movie theaters. Television and radio public service announcements will follow. We will utilize earned media opportunities and inclusion in community partner and legislative constituent communications. In addition, we intend to reach out to each QUEST member with a plain white letter in March to inform them of the process and let them know which month their case will be up for renewal.
10. How will you reach those who may not have access to the internet or those in rural areas?
Our STAY WELL STAY COVERED communications campaign toolkit on the Med-QUEST website will include messaging via printed and out-of-house channels, such as newspapers and banners. The renewal notification will be mailed, so members without internet access will still be able to receive the information.
11. When do you expect to complete the Medicaid eligibility verification process?
We will initiate the last batch of eligibility renewals in March, 2024 for cases up for renewal in April, 2024. For some individual cases, verification may take up to 60 days to complete, so the final verifications for all members should be completed by the end of May, 2024.