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RELEASE: Nebraskan files lawsuit over unconstitutional Medicaid terminations

***For Immediate Release***
Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Contact: Sierra Salgado Pirigyi
Communications Director, Nebraska Appleseed
Office: (402) 438-8853 ext 116
sierrasp@neappleseed.org

Nebraskan files lawsuit over unconstitutional Medicaid terminations

Inadequate notices from Nebraska DHHS violate Medicaid enrollees’ due process rights

LINCOLN, NE – Today, Nebraska Appleseed filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Nebraska Medicaid enrollee whose due process rights were violated by the Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) when they were terminated from Medicaid without adequate notice. Since DHHS began reviewing its rolls following the end of pandemic-era protections in March 2023, more than 100,000 Nebraskans have been terminated from Medicaid, a historic disenrollment.

“Termination notices should be clear and provide Medicaid enrollees the information they need to understand why they are losing their coverage. Due process requires DHHS to ensure that all Nebraskans who are being terminated receive adequate notice of DHHS’s decision to end their Medicaid coverage – and the opportunity to challenge that decision before coverage ends,” says Kelsey Arends, Nebraska Appleseed’s Health Care Access Staff Attorney. “As we have seen statewide, that is not happening. Low-income individuals are losing their Medicaid coverage and have no way of knowing whether DHHS is making the right decision, or whether they should challenge their loss of coverage.”

Nationwide, more than 22 million people have been cut from Medicaid since state Medicaid programs re-started the renewal process after a three-year pause during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Despite having years to prepare for the re-started renewals, DHHS has continuously failed to ensure that Nebraskans who relied on their Medicaid coverage throughout the pandemic understand why the State believes they are no longer eligible. 

“Health coverage is too critical to leave out important information like this,” adds Arends. “The notices being sent out by DHHS are insufficient and confusing. We hope that this lawsuit brings immediate relief to those who have been deprived of their due process rights. The State of Nebraska must stop using the unconstitutional notices now, reinstate Medicaid coverage for all Nebraskans who did not receive adequate notice, and ensure that due process is guaranteed for every single Nebraska Medicaid renewal.”

Nebraska Appleseed encourages Nebraskans who were told they lost Medicaid coverage because their “income exceeds standards” since renewals started in March 2023 to reach out at neappleseed.org/medicaidhelp.

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