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Sometimes the workers told him ….

Sometimes the workers told him that there was a state error, he said, and other times that he was missing paperwork he’d already submitted, such as where money from selling his mom’s car went.

“Each time I went, they gave me a different answer as to why my mother’s bills weren’t being paid,” Klaumann said. Across the nation, people have reported system errors and outdated contact information that led states to drop people who qualify. At least 28 states paused procedural disenrollments to boost outreach to people who qualify, according to federal data. Montana stuck to its original time frame and has a higher procedural disenrollment rate than most other states, according to KFF.

Stephen Ferguson, executive director of Crosswinds Recovery in Missoula, said the substance use disorder program doesn’t have a fulltime person focused on billing and sometimes doesn’t realize clients lost Medicaid coverage until the state rejects thousands of dollars in services that Crosswinds submits for reimbursement. After that, it can take months for clients to either get reenrolled or learn they truly no longer qualify.

Ferguson said he’s writing grant proposals to continue to treat people despite their inability to pay.

“We’re riding by the seat of our pants right now,” he said. “We are unsure what next month or the next quarter looks like.”

( KFF Health News is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues and is one of the core operating programs at KFF — an independent source of health policy research, polling, and journalism.)

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