Between treatment costs for her kidney disease and his spinal surgeries, Shiloh and Denis Velez, both disabled and out of work, can’t afford to lose their Medicaid benefits. So, they didn’t tarry when they learned those benefits would cease if they didn’t recertify their eligibility with the state before the federal public health emergency ends.
There are nearly 90,800 other Granite Staters who haven’t done the same and risk finding themselves at a doctor’s office or pharmacy suddenly with no insurance – even when they still qualify for benefits. And that’s despite a massive outreach campaign by the state Department of Health and Human Services and dozens of organizations that work with low-income people.
Shiloh Velez, 47, of Merrimack, is sounding the alarm too, sharing Facebook alerts from NH Healthy Families.
“I don’t want to see people suffer or go without,” she said. “If it doesn’t have to happen, then it shouldn’t. Why suffer?”
Medicaid enrollment surged nationwide when the pandemic and a child care shortage forced people out of work, leaving them in need of financial assistance. In New Hampshire, which has 240,517 Medicaid beneficiaries, standard Medicaid enrollments have increased 20.1 percent, while expanded Medicaid has seen a 73.5 percent increase since March 2020.