Mississippi Center for Justice Calls for Action to Keep Kids Insured

A Message from Linda M. Dixon, Director of Health Law

Mississippi and states like it must act now to prevent an alarming increase in the number of kids who are uninsured due to the Medicaid unwinding process. The Mississippi Center for Justice urges the state to protect the health of Mississippi’s youngest populations by implementing these strategies:

  • Increase automatic renewals. States must attempt to verify ongoing eligibility through available data sources, such as state wage databases or other programs like SNAP. This approach, known as ex parte renewals, reduces the administrative burden on enrollees and helps reduce gaps in coverage. Mississippi’s ex parte rate for all renewals is 16%, lagging far behind the national average of 32%.
  • Pause children’s renewals to get through backlog. Mississippi has a significant number of Medicaid renewals, nearly 50,000 that need to be completed. Pausing renewals for all kids would allow the state to reduce its backlog and maintain health care coverage for eligible kids.
  • Increase outreach to families. Just as children are facing coverage gaps due to the unwinding, communities are facing information gaps about their health coverage options. For example, parents may not realize that even if their income increases, making them ineligible for Medicaid, their kids may still find coverage under CHIP. Mississippi should increase outreach to families, directly and through partnerships with organizations like community health centers, to inform enrollees about how to keep eligible kids covered.

As the Medicaid unwinding concludes in the months ahead, MCJ welcomes opportunities to work with the Mississippi Division of Medicaid and local partners to keep those who remain eligible for Medicaid and CHIP aware of and enrolled in their coverage options and the unwinding process.


Mississippi Division of Medicaid resources

Short-Term Cuts to Medicaid Coverage During Pregnancy and Childhood Could Result in Long-Term Harm

PHE Unwinding Reports