Medicaid Renewals in Maryland Continue Amidst Complications

Computer errors, call center wait times, and staffing issues plague Medicaid redetermination process in Maryland.

African American doctor stands with arms crossed, holding stethoscopeAccording to a Maryland Matters article, the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is still experiencing some challenges while working through Medicaid renewals that started back up in May following the end of the pandemic emergency. Problems have included a system glitch experienced by a number of states. This required a pause in procedural determinations that began in August and will pick back up again in November.

In the meantime, the backlog this is creating has been felt at the call centers. According to the article, call center wait times have hit a high since re-enrollment began, with the average call wait time jumping to more than 15 minutes, and re-correcting slightly in September when the average wait time dropped to a little over 10 minutes.

Re-enrollment numbers to date:

According to the recent data, 90,155 enrollees maintained Medicaid coverage in September, while about 12,870 people were determined ineligible for the federal health program.

The ripple effect of the redeterminations process is not exclusive to the state and local health departments but has an impact on other formulas that rely on those numbers, such as some school funding components. But relief might be in sight for the MDH staff working on Medicaid renewals. Just this week the Board of Public Works approved a plan from MDH on Wednesday to establish 144 regular positions by eliminating 180 contract positions. This was an effort to help shore up staff, particularly as redeterminations are expected to continue in to 2024.

Read the full Maryland Matter article.