Lung Association Calls on Governor McMaster to Pause Redetermination Process to Evaluate
CHARLESTON, S.C. – (July 14, 2023) – More than 105,000 people have in South Carolina lost healthcare coverage since June due to the state’s unwinding of the COVID-19 continuous Medicaid coverage protections. Unfortunately, 93% of individuals who lost coverage did so for procedural or paperwork reasons, not because individuals are no longer eligible. Because quality and affordable healthcare is critical to the 693,000 South Carolina residents living with lung disease, the American Lung Association is calling on Governor Henry McMaster to pause Medicaid redeterminations to improve its process so fewer people lose access to healthcare.
“The rate of coverage losses for procedural issues – 93% – is truly alarming. People could lose their healthcare coverage and not even be aware of it until they visit their healthcare provider or go to pick up a prescription. Since more than 100,000 of people have already lost coverage, we are urging Governor McMaster to temporarily pause coverage terminations to evaluate the process so that no one else unnecessarily loses their healthcare,” said Danna Thompson, director of advocacy for the American Lung Association in South Carolina.
In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began in the U.S., Congress passed legislation that prohibited states from dis-enrolling most individuals from Medicaid. As a result, more than 20 million people gained Medicaid coverage during the pandemic. Nationally, 93 million people – one in four – have coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In December 2022, Congress passed legislation that starts to reverse some of the COVID-19 pandemic provisions, allowing Medicaid programs to restart renewals and coverage terminations.
To help people with lung disease understand this change and find new healthcare coverage, the American Lung Association has resources and information available at Lung.org/healthcare
About the American Lung Association
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.
American Lung Association
1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) Lung.org