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DC Medicaid Initiates “Don’t Wait to Update” Campaign for Medicaid Renewals

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Public Awareness Campaign Encourages 300K+ DC Beneficiaries to Update Their Contact Information and Renew Medicaid Coverage After 3 Year Pause

(Washington, DC)— Today, the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF), the District of Columbia’s state Medicaid agency, announced the start of a public awareness campaign to update beneficiary contact information and renew their health coverage. Beginning April 1, 2023, and continuing through June 1, 2024, all District Medicaid beneficiaries will be required to renew their health coverage for themselves and their families for the first time since March 2020. This process will be called Medicaid Renewal and will be accompanied by sustained public engagement efforts.

Prior to the federal Public Health Emergency that started in March 2020, beneficiaries had to renew their coverage at least every 12 months. The December 2022 enactment of the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act set March 31, 2023, as the end date for the Medicaid continuous enrollment requirement and gave the Department of Health Care Finance (DHCF) 14 months following that date to complete the redetermination process for the more than 300,000 beneficiaries currently enrolled in its Medicaid program.

The first part of DHCF’s public awareness campaign for Medicaid Renewal will remind District residents who are Medicaid beneficiaries to “Don’t Wait to Update!”, to ensure the agency has the most updated contact information for beneficiaries to notify them of the need to redetermine their coverage. They will be encouraged to update their contact information and use the District’s new web portal District Direct, which can be accessed on a computer or as a mobile app. The public awareness campaign will continue with a focus on encouraging residents to check their mail and submit their renewal form by the date indicated on the notice. DHCF will utilize a variety of strategies to assist residents who need help completing their renewal form or updating their contact information including assisting residents in person or by phone by calling the Department of Human Services (DHS) Call Center at (202)727-5355.

There are several Districtwide public awareness and education initiatives at the core of Medicaid Renewal, such as grassroots outreach through neighborhood and citywide events, regular virtual meetings hosted by DHCF on Medicaid Renewal, an advertising campaign that touches every Ward in the District that directs beneficiaries on steps to renew, and a Stakeholder Communications Toolkit to assist outreach from community-based organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders who support and provide services to Medicaid beneficiaries.

Wayne Turnage, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and Director of DHCF, commented, "Through the Medicaid Renewal process, we are committed to ensuring District residents have the information and support they need to renew their benefits and that everyone eligible for Medicaid stays covered. For others, we will work with healthcare advocates and stakeholders to find alternative coverage.” Director Turnage continued, “Our goal is to prevent anyone from falling through the cracks, particularly some of our most vulnerable residents, such as people with disabilities or those experiencing homelessness.”

Medicaid Renewal is part of the overall Medicaid Restart process, which reflects the conclusion of several program changes made in response to the public health emergency. Medicaid Restart includes the returning to normal eligibility operations, as well as changes to provider payments, assessments for beneficiaries applying or reapplying for long term care, and other authorities granted to DHCF during the federal Public Health Emergency that are coming to an end soon. For complete information on Medicaid Restart, please refer to the DHCF’s Unwinding Plan. The plan and all other related materials can be found at dhcf.dc.gov/medicaid-restart.

DHCF is the District's state Medicaid agency. Its mission is to improve health outcomes by providing access to comprehensive, cost-effective, and quality healthcare services for the residents of the District of Columbia. For more information, visit dhcf.dc.gov.