New Survey Finds States Investing in Technology, Simplifying Enrollment Processes
The 12th annual 50-state survey of Medicaid and Childrens Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility, enrollment, and cost-sharing policies was conducted with the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. As of Jan. 1, 2013, 47 states have applied for or received increased federal funds to make major upgrades to Medicaid enrollment systems, and 42 states have already begun their system development work. Federal regulations released last year outline the requirements for all Medicaid programs to have web-based, paperless, real-time enrollment processes that will rely on electronic data and minimize administrative burdens on individuals and eligibility workers.
Important changes are coming to all state Medicaid programs, said Diane Rowland, Executive Vice President of the Foundation and Executive Director of the KCMU. Our survey shows that states already are making significant advances to modernize the Medicaid enrollment process in 2014 to lower barriers to coverage and reduce administrative burdens for both families and states.
As states shifted focus to make major system improvements during 2012, a number also continued to make targeted policy and process improvements, often harnessing technology to facilitate families access to coverage and gain administrative efficiencies. However, the survey reveals that longstanding gaps in Medicaid coverage for adults persist, highlighting the potential of the Medicaid expansion to increase access to affordable coverage for low-income adults. Key survey findings include:
• During 2012, a majority of states did not impose additional cost-sharing requirements on families even though they continued to experience budget constraints. States generally cannot increase premiums under current federal requirements to maintain eligibility and enrollment policies until 2014. As such, premium changes were minimal. However, states are not restricted from increasing co-payments within federal program limits, and nine made such increases in 2012.
The 50-state survey report was released today at a public briefing at the Foundations Washington offices and can be found online. Also released was Faces of the Medicaid Expansion: How Obtaining Medicaid Coverage Impacts Low-Income Adults, which highlights the experiences of previously uninsured adults who recently obtained Medicaid coverage in several states that already expanded coverage to adults in advance of 2014. To provide greater insight into the impacts of expanding Medicaid, it examines how gaining coverage affected individuals health, finances, employment, and overall well-being.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, a leader in health policy analysis, health journalism and communication, is dedicated to filling the need for trusted, independent information on the major health issues facing our nation and its people. The Foundation is a non-profit private operating foundation, based in Menlo Park, California.
The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured provides information and analysis on health care coverage and access for the low-income population, with a special focus on Medicaids role and coverage of the uninsured. Begun in 1991 and based in the Kaiser Family Foundations Washington, D.C. office, the Commission is the largest operating program of the Foundation. The Commissions work is conducted by Foundation staff under the guidance of a bipartisan group of national leaders and experts in health care and public policy.
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