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Medicaid Law is Changing, Thousands of District Residents Must Recertify DC Medicaid Eligibility or Lose Coverage


For the first time in over three years, some of the Medicaid requirements waived during the COVID-19 pandemic are now ending. All Medicaid recipients, including those in the District, must take action to confirm they still qualify for the program or risk losing coverage.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Medicaid suspended a requirement for recipients to fill out forms yearly to demonstrate they still qualified. On April 1 of this year, a process began to revert to the eligibility requirements that were in place before March 2020. This process is known as “Medicaid Unwinding.”

With the pre-pandemic rules back in place, federal officials estimate that more than 2.5 million older adults nationwide will lose their Medicaid benefits, including nearly 1,500 here in DC when the recertification process is complete. DC Medicaid, the District’s Medicaid program, currently has approximately 283,000 enrollees, including 48,000 between the age of 50-64. Older District residents are more likely than younger ones to manage the care of a chronic health condition. Loss of their healthcare coverage could be devastating, which is why the recertification process is so important. However, there are steps that District residents on DC Medicaid can take to make the process easier.

Tips to Help You Through the Process

  • Update your contact information. Ensure your home address, phone number, and email address are updated with DC Medicaid.
  • Keep an eye on your mail. All states, including DC, are required to send letters to all Medicaid recipients letting them know how to renew their coverage or if the state believes they no longer qualify. That’s why confirming your contact information is up to date is important.
  • Complete any included forms and return them right away. Pay close attention to the instructions. Every state runs its own Medicaid program, so there is no one-size-fits-all way this process will work. The rules for DC may be different from the rules in neighboring states. States have until June 2024 to complete this process, so watch for that letter.

After recertification, if you learn that you are losing coverage, you do still have options:

  • You can reapply to see if you qualify.
  • You can get coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and you may qualify for subsidies to help lower your costs. Visit DC Health Link ( for more information about Marketplace coverage.
  • Your employer may offer healthcare insurance coverage.

AARP is Here to Help
AARP DC is committed to helping older people keep their DC Medicaid coverage. We will continue to monitor the process and actions the District is taking to help minimize the number of residents who lose health coverage and help those people find other low-cost options. On behalf of the 78,000 members in DC, AARP is in this for the long run.

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