Many Idaho residents are losing Medicaid benefits due to a process of mass re-evaluations known as Medicaid Unwinding. While many deemed ineligible will have access to other insurance options, some Idahoans will not. The Idaho Association of Free and Charitable Clinics has a message for those Idahoans—we are here to help.
The Unwinding process ends Medicaid Protection, a national policy to keep Medicaid recipients enrolled until the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Idaho's re-evaluation process began earlier this year and is moving quickly. According to the Department of Health and Welfare, 32,688 out of 54,257 Medicaid recipients were recently disenrolled. DHW expects to review 153,857 recipients in total.
With 13 free clinics across the state providing critical health services, IAFCC hopes Idahoans who find themselves uninsured will reach out to access the care they need. Clinics offer patients a range of health services, including diagnosis and treatment of disease, management of chronic conditions, preventative screenings and care, behavioral health services, and dental services at no cost.
“We know that many of our Idaho friends and neighbors are experiencing medical hardships and can’t get help because of insurance status, financial difficulties, or other system barriers,” said Mindy Hong, Executive Director of IAFCC, “No matter what your situation is, our free clinics will warmly welcome you and provide you with quality services.”
Idaho free clinics are already seeing an additional need for services due to the Unwinding. A recent survey showed that 100% of clinics had an increase in patients last month.
“We aren’t going to let these people be in a gap without healthcare access. We are going to find funding and more volunteers,” said Steve Davis, CEO of Genesis Community Health. With increased support from the community, he expects that the clinics he runs in Garden City and Caldwell will be able to serve additional patients.
As uninsured Idahoans face an unknown period without coverage, Idaho Free and Charitable Clinics around the state will continue to provide lifesaving health care to those who need it and will scale up services in response to the increased number of patients.