Analysis: Current And Potential Uses of Online Applications For Medicaid and CHIP

by Rebecca Farley on August 18, 2011

An analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured provides an overview of states’ online applications for Medicaid and CHIP and examines the extent to which they incorporate features that streamline the enrollment process for individuals, a new requirement under the Affordable Care Act.

Online applications can minimize burdens on individuals and help increase enrollment by making applications available at all hours of the day, enabling faster eligibility determinations, and simplifying the application process. States can also benefit from online applications through reduced administrative burdens and increased accuracy and efficiency. Thirty-two states currently offer an online application for Medicaid and/or CHIP that is accessible by the public and can be electronically submitted, but they vary in their capabilities and features.

Although states have made progress in developing online applications, there is still a substantial amount of work ahead to develop applications that will fulfill the functions and requirements outlined under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under the ACA, states are required to develop integrated and coordinated eligibility processes for Medicaid, CHIP and Exchange coverage that are supported by technology. As part of these processes, states will be required to provide a single application that individuals can use to apply for these programs that is available in multiple formats, including online. The analysis was conducted with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

A related series of briefs, Optimizing Medicaid Enrollment: Spotlight on Technology, examines how selected states are already using technology in innovative ways to streamline and simplify Medicaid enrollment.


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