State Provides Adequate Notice to Medicaid Applicants Regarding Fair Hearings

A U.S. district court denies Medicaid applicants' request for a preliminary injunction, ruling that the state is not required to send an additional notice of default to Medicaid applicants who miss their hearing dates. Fishman ex rel. Fishman v. Daines (U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. N.Y., No. 09-CV-5248 JFB ARL, Sept. 16, 2014).

Once New York State determines a Medicaid applicant is no longer entitled to Medicaid, it sends a letter notifying the applicant that she may request a fair hearing. The state then sends two more letters, notifying applicants that a fair hearing has been requested and scheduled. If an applicant misses the hearing, a default judgment will be entered against her.

Two Medicaid applicants initiated a class action against the state of New York, claiming the state does not provide proper notice before entering a default judgment. The applicants argued that 880 members of the class never received the fair hearing notice and asked for a preliminary injunction, requiring the state to mail a default notice to applicants before their appeals are abandoned.

The U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, denies the preliminary injunction, holding that the applicants have not shown a likelihood of success on the merits because the state provides adequate notice regarding fair hearings. The court concludes that the state's "method of notice, which already involves the mailing of three separate letters, is reasonably calculated to comply with due process."

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