Enrollment and retention in existing public and private health coverage programs in Indiana are hindered by complex, redundant, unfriendly and uncoordinated application and redetermination systems that do not take full advantage of existing community-based enrollment centers.
Covering Kids & Families of Indiana strives to increase enrollment in Hoosier Healthwise, Medicaid, Healthy Indiana Plan, and private health coverage by simplifying and coordinating the application and renewal process.
The Issue: There are 1,680,000 children under the age of 19 in Indiana. Of these children, about 1 in 10 has no health insurance. That's 161,000 children.
The state of Indiana recognized the need for making significant changes to the enrollment process for Medicaid and SCHIP (Hoosier Healthwise). They also recognized that changes were needed to the Food Stamps and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) programs.
High error rates, poor service, outdated technology, and overly burdensome caseloads have plagued the programs within the Family & Social Services Administration. As a result, "Eligibility Modernization" began to take shape. Governor Mitch Daniels and his administration proposed to contract with IBM-ACS to revamp the enrollment process for Hoosier Healthwise, TANF and Food Stamps and would allow simplification and alignment of enrollment policies such as income verification being cross-referenced with other systems, consistent application of eligibility standards, and new, multiple intake points (County Office plus phone, web, mail, fax, email) with transitioned state employee.
The cornerstone of the effort is to improve customer service by making the eligibility application system available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via an interactive phone system and the Internet. The access by technology would supplement, not replace, the practice of meeting personally with a caseworker in a county office. Clients who want to apply for services in-person with a caseworker could still do so.
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