We look at Medicaid— the big, federally-funded health insurance program for folks with lower incomes— for two reasons: 

First, it’s a huge part of our health-care system. Medicaid covers a quarter of all Americans, and four in ten children. 

Second, it’s timely: In the last year, more than 20 million people have lost Medicaid —  even though there’s evidence to suggest a lot of those people probably still qualify. 

More than two-thirds have been dropped for “procedural reasons” — basically, missing paperwork.

Of folks who’ve been dropped, 70 percent have ended up either uninsured, or — in most cases — back on Medicaid. 

This is all because of a process called “the unwinding” of COVID-emergency protections that kept folks from getting dropped at all for a few years. It’s been messy.

We’ve been hearing the stories of folks who got dropped, and their fights to get re-enrolled.  

In this episode, we hear about two families in Tennessee who lost coverage they were entitled to — including one family who lost their coverage after their mail got sent to a horse pasture — with help from KFF Health News reporter Brett Kelman. 

Here’s a transcript of this episode

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