Lawmakers debating Medicaid enrollment procedures

JACKSON — Mississippi lawmakers are arguing over Medicaid enrollment procedures.

For the past seven years, Medicaid recipients have been required to go to state offices once a year to renew their enrollment in the government health plan for the poor.

Before then, recipients could re-enroll by mail. That’s the procedure most states use.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 65-49 Feb. 8 to remove the “face-to-face” enrollment and go back to allowing mail-in procedures.

The bill moves to the Republican-led Senate, where it’s expected to face strong opposition.

Republican Gov. Haley Barbour says in-person enrollment helps reduce fraud. Opponents say it creates hardships for poor people.

The bill is House Bill 1359.

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