(WJBF) — Thousands of people in South Carolina and Georgia will soon have some healthcare plans to review as some exceptions to Medicaid qualification are about to expire.

“So how are people going to actually make it, you know, if they have to pay an arm and a leg for the medication and they can’t afford it,” GA Resident Ophelia Adams said.

That’s the question a lot of people might have at the moment. 

But, healthcare providers have the answer. 

“Just getting back to how this process existed before COVID. There were some special rules around Medicaid annual reviews that were in place during the public health emergency– those are coming to an end,” SC Department of Health Director of Strategic Communications Jeffery Leieritz said.

Once the pandemic hit, exceptions to the previous Medicaid qualifications were made to assist those who needed extra support during those times. 

“The only thing that changes is, we didn’t do annual eligibility reviews to comply with the families first coronavirus response act during the public health emergency,” Leieritz said. 

It’s called the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 which provided critical support to state Medicaid programs. For Georgian’s, the cut off date is March 31st. 

And if you’re someone living in South Carolina, folks can expect slightly different dates. 

“In South Carolina we are starting that process April 1st. We’ll be sending out the first batch of annual review notices for Medicaid members,” Leieritz said.

And though this deadline is approaching, it’s important to note that this project can take from 12- to 14-months between both states. 

“If we can validate that a person meets this criteria, based on the information we have on other state agencies, or that we’re able to gather, we will send a continuation of benefits notice instead of an annual review form that will tell that member that they’re still enrolled for another year,” Leieritz said.

Despite where you might live, the main rule is still the same, making sure your personal information is up to date and ready to be reviewed.