Reckless Unwinding: Helping Vulnerable Populations Retain Medicaid Benefits

medicaid unwinding teletownhall forum

Hundreds of thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries across the country are getting unfairly kicked off Medicaid, so we did something about it.

A coalition of Texas-based advocacy organizations reached out to over 200,000 households with a single large Teletownhall forum to provide key background information, answer audience questions, direct listeners towards assistance, and tag those in the most need for rapid followup.

Here are a few of the 70+ questions that we answered while other event participants listened and learned:

“My Mom and I have Medicaid and I also receive benefits from social security and I wonder if that affects me renewing my Medicaid – because my Mom received the paper work but I did not. Please help.” – Humberto

“I never received the medicaid application in the mail? Also, they were supposed to send me a SNAP application? I did not get either one.” – Tonia

“I literally have an income of Social Security and a pension, but due to inflation it has caused me to go into a pinch. Is there a certain amount of income that you have to have to apply for Medicaid? I pay a premium for my advantage plan through my social security. At what point can a person like me get assistance? I’ve been told my income was too high. Is there a certain limit to get assistance?” – Melissa

“I am an insurance broker and I am listening for my clients – what is the best, most simple, way for me to help this? I’m getting frustrated trying to understand who all qualifies.” – Missy

“I get a lot of spam calls about Medicare and Medicaid. How do I know which ones are real and which are scams?” – Jason

Content experts and key speakers from Every Texan, the Children’s Defense Fund, Sick Of It Texas, and the Texas Association of Community Health Centers (TACHC) worked in concert to answer questions during the event and follow up with beneficiaries after the event.

We dialed 200,000 Texans using Telephone Town Hall Meeting technology and data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that targeted households in Texas with children who make family incomes under $46,740 per year.

The teletownhall was translated live into Spanish for incoming participants that chose our Spanish Simulcast as they joined. We spent the better part of an hour answering questions, breaking up Q&A with different polling questions that tagged participants for later follow-up. All while providing crucial information (key organizations, websites & phone numbers) so that those in serious need could get the help they required quickly.

Prior to the forum, participating organizations blasted out a Web Registration page and ran social media ads to generate event opt-ins and to educate Texans on this issue of Medicaid Unwinding.

You can read more about Medicaid Unwinding here:

Ever since the Covid emergency ended, millions of beneficiaries across the country have lost their Medicaid – and it’s often been due to something as preventable as paperwork errors. Some states have done a better job than others to correct these mistakes and help their citizens regain their health insurance.

Yet even in those states that worked to help their residents, some of the poorest and most vulnerable are experiencing the misery and fear that comes with losing their health insurance. We encourage any other advocacy organizations that work with vulnerable populations to consider this type of proactive outreach while coverage options remain.

Here are some highlights from our Every Texan Teletownhall:

  • We used CBPP data to find 200,000 Texans who had kids and earned family incomes below $46,740 per year.
  • We partnered with the vendor I have worked with for years – – to launch and manage the live Teletownhall.
  • We had more than 18,000 households on the line and they submitted 73 questions to our screeners. We took most of their questions live and tagged others for follow-up post-forum.
  • Every Texan and the coalition they assembled did a fantastic job picking and choosing the callers we wanted to bring live, then delivered clear and accurate information.
  • We had the call translated live into Spanish to help those who might be struggling with a language barrier.
  • Before the forum, we pushed an RSVP page via email and ran FB ads to advertise the event. We also plan to run FB ads to push people to the recording of the call so that they can learn the same crucial information as those that joined the live event from