During the pandemic, the Human Resources Administration (HRA), which administers Medicaid in New York City has responded with flexibility regarding the application and renewal process to ensure Medicaid applicants or recipients are able to access the care they need. Previously, HRA issued a General Information System message to announce changes to Medicaid eligibility and enrollment processes in light of COVID-19. This week, HRA issued a new alert providing updated information on its handling of Medicaid applications and renewals during the COVID-19 crisis.
The alert specifies that Medicaid renewals due between March and August 2020 will be extended for twelve months (six months for excess resource cases). In addition, during the COVID-19 emergency, no Medicaid cases will be closed for failure to renew or failure to provide documentation.
In addition, where Medicaid services were granted to an applicant without regard to the applicant’s income and resources because a guardianship was pending and a guardian has since been appointed, Medicaid will permit a court-appointed guardian to attest to the ward’s income and assets. All guardianship cases will be renewed without regard to the status of the guardianship.
Medicaid applicants and recipients may continue to self-attest to all eligibility criteria, except immigration and identity status. Although copies of documents proving identity and immigration status should still be submitted, if that is not possible due to the COVID-19 emergency, clients should still submit the application. Clients who are unable to submit proof of identity/citizenship or whose identity cannot be confirmed through data sources will be given a subsequent opportunity to submit the required proof.
Nursing homes and hospitals may sign an application on behalf of a client who is unable to sign because of COVID-19, so long as they submit a special transmittal form. In addition, applicants or recipients who have “excess income” and who have met their surplus for March 2020 will have their coverage extended for six months.