The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has provided new guidance to Federal and state government agencies to make sure they can send Medicaid enrollment calls and send text messages without violating robocall and robotext prohibitions.

The commission said that its new Declaratory Ruling responds to a letter from Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, and that the ruling “will ensure millions of Americans can receive the information they need to maintain enrollment in Medicaid and other governmental health care programs to avoid losing health care coverage.”

The FCC explained that Federal health care policies implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic changed the eligibility requirements for Medicaid and other governmental health care programs, which resulted in a substantial increase in participation in these programs.

However, the Consolidated Appropriations Act signed last month allows states to resume Medicaid disenrollments beginning April 1, 2023. To ensure that eligible participants remain covered, HHS says that state governmental agencies and their partners need to reach large numbers of enrollees with information about retaining their enrollment in these health coverage programs.

As part of the Declaratory Ruling, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau clarified how Federal and state governmental agencies working in conjunction with local governments, governmental contractors, and managed care entities acting under contract with state governments may, under certain circumstances, make autodialed and prerecorded or artificial voice calls or send autodialed text messages to raise awareness of the eligibility and enrollment requirements for these governmental health care programs.

Specifically, the FCC confirmed that enrollees’ providing a telephone number on an application for coverage in Medicaid or other government health care programs constitutes prior express consent to be contacted at that number regarding enrollment eligibility.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk SLG's Assistant Copy & Production Editor, covering Cybersecurity, Education, Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs