As many as 15 million Americans may be at risk of losing their health insurance when the COVID-19 public health emergency officially ends, according to a new Urban Institute report.

When the COVID crisis began and people began losing their jobs – and with them, their health insurance – Congress increased funding to states for Medicaid under the condition that states not perform eligibility reviews on their Medicaid rolls under after the crisis ends.  Since then, Medicaid enrollment has risen nearly 20 percent, and now, that 20 percent – and more – may be in jeopardy of losing their Medicaid coverage once their eligibility is reviewed.

In anticipation of these events unfolding – and the loss of supplemental federal Medicaid funding – some  states are adding staff to perform such eligibility reviews while also taking steps to help people who lose their Medicaid coverage to find alternative health insurance through health insurance exchanges.

Meanwhile, providers worry that they will soon be treating patients who believe they have insurance coverage but do not, leading to a potential increase in uncompensated care.

Learn more about the Medicaid challenge ahead in the Urban Institute report “What Will Happen to Unprecedented High Medicaid Enrollment after the Public Health Emergency?