Stabilizing Medicaid Coverage: BDT’s Learning Collaborative Helps States Keep People Covered After COVID-19 PHE

| By: Jamila McLean, Healthcare Policy Manager

The recruitment deadline has passed for states to participate in the Learning Collaborative.

When the public health emergency (PHE) ends, how can we ensure individuals and families at high risk of losing Medicaid stay covered? Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is working with states to build solutions and you can join us

BDT, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is hosting a 12-month learning collaborative; a unique opportunity for state Medicaid agencies to receive individually tailored technical assistance to develop and advance policies and practices that reduce the cycling of individuals on and off Medicaid coverage, also known as Medicaid churn.  

The technical assistance provided through this opportunity – at no cost to states – will support states in preparing for the end of the COVID-19 PHE and the subsequent termination of the Medicaid continuous coverage requirement. Additionally, this learning collaborative will help states explore more long-term solutions to reduce Medicaid churn and/or mitigate its impact.

Why should my state focus on addressing churn? 


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As the nation’s largest insurance provider, currently serving over 80 million individuals, increasing coverage continuity among Medicaid beneficiaries is crucial to improving health equity and economic mobility among low-income populations. Medicaid churn is a common and persistent problem within the healthcare delivery system, increasing healthcare and administrative costs and resulting in poor outcomes due to disruptions in care. Research has shown that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic approximately 25 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries experienced at least one coverage change within a year.  

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) prevents states from disenrolling most Medicaid enrollees, temporarily eliminating churn. The protection the FFCRA affords, however, disappears once the federal PHE declaration ends, putting a significant number of Medicaid beneficiaries at risk of losing coverage despite remaining eligible for the benefit. Therefore, by taking a proactive approach in preparing for the end of the public health emergency, states can protect coverage for eligible Medicaid beneficiaries, reducing the likelihood of increases in healthcare and administrative costs and poor health outcomes due to disruptions in care. 

What are the key activities that will make up the learning collaborative? 

States that are selected to participate in this learning collaborative will receive 12 months of tailored technical assistance. Technical assistance activities include: 

  • Monthly, one-hour one-on-one state technical assistance calls – designed to meet states where they are and address specific needs to advance Medicaid churn reduction goals; 

  • Two virtual or in-person convenings; 

    • Launch Convening: May 2022 
    • Closing Convening: DATE TBD 
  • One site visit or virtual working session per state; 

  • Quarterly peer calls to share state learnings, best practices, and to foster cross-state collaboration; and 

  • Ad hoc webinars with national and state-specific subject matter experts focused on sharing strategies to address common churn reduction challenges. 

What are time commitments and expectations for participants? 

Participants can expect to spend 5-10 hours per month working with the learning collaborative over a 12-month period. Time spent will include quarterly peer calls, webinars with national and/or state-specific subject matter experts, monthly one-on-one state technical assistance calls, site visits, and two virtual or in-person convenings (COVID-19 restrictions dependent).  

Who should participate in the learning collaborative?  

This learning collaborative is open to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, however, only a limited number of states will be selected to participate in this opportunity. States interested in participating must: 

  • Be able to engage in all of the technical assistance activities listed above; and 

  • Have a core team identified to lead this work. 

    • The core team must comprise of an executive sponsor and one or two project leads.  

      • The executive sponsor should have some decision-making authority and the ability to elevate issues as needed. 
      • The project lead will be the main point-of-contact for the project and must therefore have the capacity to manage external communications with BDT staff and advance state goals between TA calls.  

What will your state gain from participating? 

Participants will gain: 

  • Hands-on and personalized technical assistance to address Medicaid churn in their state – including assistance in the implementation of resources within the Medicaid Churn Toolkit
  • Personalized trainings from national and state-specific subject matter experts in a small group setting;  
  • Opportunities to network with other state Medicaid agencies working to address similar issues; and  
  • Support to implement learnings from the collaborative. 

Is there a cost to participate? 

There is no cost to participate in this opportunity. Support for this learning collaborative was made possible through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

What will BDT provide for states in this learning collaborative?  

Benefits Data Trust will organize all materials, provide individualized technical assistance calls, send frequent email digests on collaborative progress, and provide responses to questions from participants within a timely manner. With appropriate approvals, state work may also be highlighted in newsletters, publications, case studies, or press releases through BDT’s network. 

How does your state express interest in this learning collaborative opportunity? When is the deadline to express interest?  

States interested in participating in this learning collaborative must express interest in this opportunity by completing our interest form by EOD, April 15, 2022. States will be notified of acceptance the week of April 18, 2022. 

What if I have additional questions? 

Please reach out to BDT’s Healthcare Policy Manager, Jamila McLean at jmclean@bdtrust.org for more information.

About Benefits Data Trust 

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) harnesses the power of data, technology, and policy to provide efficient and dignified access to assistance, improving people’s health and financial security. Together with a national network of government agencies and other partners, we streamline public benefits systems and directly connect eligible families and individuals to programs that help pay for food, healthcare, housing, and more. A nonprofit since 2005, BDT has secured more than $7.5 billion in benefits for households across the country, building pathways to economic mobility and a more equitable future. Learn more at bdtrust.org.