Medicaid provides critical health insurance coverage to tens of millions of children, adults, elderly and people with disabilities every year. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), millions more will gain Medicaid coverage, beginning in 2014.1
However, Medicaid can be like a leaky sieve: every year millions of people enroll, only to subsequently lose their coverage, even though they are still eligible, due to cumbersome paperwork requirements and small, often short term, increases in income. The problem of beneficiaries entering and exiting Medicaid is sometimes called “churning.”

These interruptions in coverage can compromise the continuity and effectiveness ofhealth care services. Helping Medicaid enrollees retain their coverage is a cost-effective way tomake their insurance coverage more secure and to improve the effectiveness of the care they receive.

Leighton Ku and Erika Steinmetz, George Washington University. “The Continuity of Medicaid Coverage: An Update.” April 2013.

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