In March 2020, as part of its pandemic response, the federal government instructed the states not to terminate anyone from Medicaid. That means that no one lost Medicaid coverage since that time, even if a change in their situation meant that they may not be eligible. New Jersey has been sending out Medicaid renewal packets since July 2021 but did not terminate anyone’s coverage.
This ended on March 31, 2023. New Jersey will continue to send out renewal packets and, as of April 1, New Jersey will begin evaluating those renewal packets to determine if enrollees are still eligible for Medicaid. This process will be known as the “Restart.” Here is what you need to do.
Make sure Medicaid has your correct address. If you have moved in the last three years, it is very important that you provide your current address to the state. You must be able to receive your renewal packet. You can update your address in one of three ways:
Watch for your renewal packet. Your insurance company may send you a letter the month before your renewal packet will be mailed, telling you to expect it. If you have completed and returned a renewal packet in the last year, then you will probably receive it in the same month this year. For example, if you received your renewal packet in August 2022, then it will probably come again in August 2023. However, this is not true for everyone. People in certain groups may be switched to a different month. If you do not receive your renewal packet in the month you are expecting it, call (800) 701-0710 or your county Medicaid office. Note: you can call the 800 number no matter what plan you are on.
Watch for notices. Not everyone will receive a renewal packet. The state will be able to determine that some people are eligible based on information it already has about you or your family members, such as from a tax return or SNAP renewal. If that happens, then NJ FamilyCare will send you a notice telling you which family members have been re-enrolled, based on that information.
Respond to requests for information by the deadline. If you receive a letter asking you to send in more documents or other information, respond by the deadline stated in the letter. If possible, keep a copy of what you submit with a note of the date you sent it.
You cannot be terminated based on information given prior to March 31, 2023. The state has to do a “fresh” evaluation of your eligibility. It cannot rely on information that you provided on a renewal form before March 31, 2023.
No one will be terminated on April 1, 2023. The state must evaluate your eligibility first, based on the information you provide on your renewal form sent after April 1. This process will not happen for all Medicaid enrollees at the same time. The state will be dividing the evaluations across 12 months.
You will have appeal rights. If you think your Medicaid was terminated even though you are still eligible for coverage, you will be able to request a fair hearing. The information on how to file will be in the notices that you receive.
If you miss a deadline to provide information, you will be able to ask for a reconsideration. Even if you don’t get all the information sent by the deadline given, you will have 90 days to send in the information. If the information shows that you are eligible, your Medicaid will be reinstated.
If you no longer qualify for the program you are currently on, you will be evaluated for other programs. Because it has been three years since people were terminated from Medicaid, some people are in programs that they aren’t eligible for any longer. For example, if you started receiving Medicare in the last three years, you might be on the wrong Medicaid program. Before you are terminated from Medicaid, the state is supposed to evaluate your information to see if you might qualify for a different program.
If you no longer qualify for Medicaid coverage and you have no other insurance, your information will be sent to Get Covered NJ. You will have a 60-day “Special Enrollment Period” to select and purchase a plan on the state insurance marketplace. The 60 days will start to run after your Medicaid is terminated. Due to state and federal subsidies, plans are very affordable right now. GetCoveredNJ can help you find and enroll in a plan, such as the Center for Family Services (877-962-8448), which operates statewide. See Search for in-person assistance (from GetCoveredNJ).
Additional information about the planned restart process can be found on the state website under the heading Stay Covered NJ. If you have been terminated and think you are still eligible, contact the LSNJ Health Care Access Project through the LSNJLAW SM Hotline at www.lsnjlawhotline.org (1-888-LSNJ-LAW, 1-888-576-5529), or your local Legal Services program.
This information last reviewed: Apr 1, 2023