Helping Our Neighbors Who Count on Medicaid and CHIP

By Barry Steiner Ball

Many of our neighbors depend on Medicaid or CHIP health care coverage for their basic health care.  It is vital for the health of our communities that those who qualify for Medicaid and CHIP stay enrolled in these programs.

As most will know, the national Public Health Emergency (PHE), first declared in early 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been renewed for a final 90 days and is set to expire May 11.  While the PHE was in effect, there was no need to renew Medicaid or CHIP health care coverage, it was done automatically.  That will change after May 11.  Reenrollment will be required yearly, unfortunately not everyone is aware of this and there is a fear that many, especially children will fall through the cracks and loose their health care coverage and not realize it until it is too late.

It is possible that many in our communities could lose their Medicaid or CHIP health care coverage as a result of the PHE coming to an end.  There is no need for anyone to lose their coverage. 

In the coming weeks please share the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Toolkit (  that contains important information the steps they need to take NOW to get ready to renew their coverage.  Individuals will need to: 

  1. Update their contact information: Make sure their state Medicaid office or CHIP program has their current mailing address, phone number, email, or other contact information.
  2. Check their mail: They will receive a letter about their Medicaid or CHIP coverage. This letter will also let them know if they need to complete a renewal form to see if they still qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.
  3. Complete their renewal form (if they get one): Fill out the form and return it to their Medicaid or CHIP program right away to help avoid a gap in their coverage.

Our Wesleyan heritage has always involved caring for the whole person spiritually, mentally, physically and even financially.  Please spread this information to your congregations and in turn your communities so we can watch out for our neighbors and no person loses the health care we all need.