Sixty-five thousand Medicaid recipients in Mississippi may have breathed a collective sigh of relief as Gov. Haley Barbour announced Monday that the cutoff date for removing recipients from the Medicaid rolls had been changed.
The deadline was extended from July 1 to Sept. 15.
The extension is intended, in part, to make for a smoother transition of many individuals who had been eligible for Medicaid and Medicare to Medicare only.
"This is a time of transition, so that we'll have time to educate the public on the benefits that are out there to help them with their medicines," said Cindy Davidson of the Meridian regional office of the Division of Medicaid. "They will remain on full benefits throughout the process."
Davidson conducted a question and answer forum Tuesday in Meridian. She also discussed other options for individuals affected by the discontinuation of the Poverty Level Aged and Disabled (PLAD) category of Medicaid.
"There are programs out there that are Medicare-approved to help these people to buy their prescriptions. There's also private companies that will help them to purchase their medicines free of charge or at reduced prices," Davidson said.
Anyone in need of assistance or with any questions concerning Medicaid can call or visit Medicaid's Meridian Regional Office.