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More than 1 million dropped from Medicaid after post-pandemic rule change

More than 1 million people have been dropped from Medicaid in the past couple of months as some states move swiftly to halt health care coverage following the end of the coronavirus pandemic. Most were dropped for not filling out paperwork.

Data analyzed by The Associated Press show some states have dropped coverage for more than half the people whose eligibility cases were decided in April or May. States were prohibited from removing people from Medicaid during the pandemic. But that ban was lifted in April.

President Joe Biden's administration is urging states to slow down because of fears that some eligible people are being dropped for not filling out paperwork. Utah is among about a dozen states with the highest drop rate. Florida has the highest rate, dropping hundreds of thousands of people so far.

More than 93 million people nationwide were enrolled in Medicaid as of the most recent available data in February — up nearly one-third from the pre-pandemic total in January 2020. The rolls swelled because federal law prohibited states from removing people from Medicaid during the health emergency in exchange for providing states with increased funding.

Now that eligibility reviews have resumed, states have begun plowing through a backlog of cases to determine whether people's income or life circumstances have changed. States have a year to complete the process. But tracking down responses from everyone has proved difficult, because some people have moved, changed contact information or disregarded mailings about the renewal process.