JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Since the beginning of April, the Mississippi Division of Medicaid has been reevaluating the eligibility of all Medicaid members.

With new monthly income caps, some Medicaid members could lose their health benefits this year. The reevaluation period comes as the federal government ended the continuous Medicaid requirement started in response to COVID-19.

In Mississippi, nearly 900,000 people receive Medicaid benefits. For those found ineligible, other options will cost them.

“They have the possibility to go to the Affordable Care Act or HealthCare.gov to find coverage. They’re going to have to pay something for it, but they will allow some tax credits. The problem is that most of these people are living paycheck to paycheck. Their trying to make a decision about whether or not they need to keep the lights on or pay for the drugs that they need,” said Mike Chaney, Mississippi Insurance Commissioner.

One doctor said this couldn’t be coming at a worse time.

“The timing of this could not be worse, because even though the death rate is down from COVID, the infection rate is down. It’s still out there, and in our state of Mississippi, disproportionately, we have so many people with chronic medical conditions. And in a lot of cases, not well treated, which makes them much more vulnerable, so in the event that they can track COVID, it’s going to be harder for their immune systems to fight it off. That’s why it’s so important. In our state, we maintain Medicaid for all citizens that qualify and not put them in a position of vulnerability where there’s a higher potential they could lose their life,” said Dr. Timothy Quinn with Quinn Healthcare.

For instructions on how to requalify, visit medicaid.ms.gov/staycovered or call 601-359-6050.