May 3, 2023

Families struggling to put food on the table do not need the added pressures that come from losing access to health care.

For the past few years, states were allowed to temporarily stop eligibility reviews for Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This kept people from losing their health coverage during a public health crisis.

With the ending of the Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Condition on March 31, 2023, states are returning to normal operations. As a result, these eligibility reviews are starting, and families need support to navigate and information on how to maintain coverage.


With the “unwinding” of the continuous Medicaid enrollment provision:

  • Nearly 18 million people across the country are at risk of losing Medicaid coverage, according to one study.
  • 8 million people, including 3.8 million children, could lose coverage despite being eligible for Medicaid, due to procedural disenrollments, where individuals lose coverage for administrative reasons rather than being determined ineligible.

Without adequate health insurance, people may forgo or postpone medical treatment or incur medical debt. These coping mechanisms place strain on household financial stability and leave less money available for food.

Fortunately, Medicaid and CHIP are available to support millions of families across the nation in accessing health care. However, actions are needed to ensure that families can continue to access these programs in the face of this “unwinding.”

Medicaid and CHIP provide health coverage to more than 92 million Americans, including eligible children, pregnant people, older adults, and people with disabilities with low-incomes. States administer Medicaid and CHIP pursuant to federal requirements and a wide range of state options. The programs are funded jointly by states and the federal government.

Anti-hunger advocates can play a role in ensuring that eligible families continue uninterrupted access to Medicaid and CHIP. Advocates know how having reliable access to Medicaid, CHIP, or affordable health coverage is one less stressor for families to navigate and have many communications channels to share information and support efforts to protect health care coverage for millions.

These customizable messaging and resources from the Office of Communications Partner Relations Group at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services can help make sure that families are getting accurate information so that they can continue Medicaid and CHIP enrollment:

Medicaid and CHIP Renewals Webpage: This webpage is designed for people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP to help them prepare to renew their coverage. The page includes an interactive map with each state Medicaid office’s website and other contact information. For more information, see FRAC’s Medicaid Unwinding Will Hurt Families Struggling to Put Food on the Table.