Introduction to Medicaid and CHIP Outreach Snapshot Blog Series

We recently released our snapshot of state Medicaid and CHIP outreach activities, just as a number of states are in the final stages of the unwinding and getting people reconnected to coverage becomes more important than ever. While the report provides in-depth analysis into state-provided outreach resources and enrollment assistance, we are also writing a short blog series to discuss highlights from the data tables. Let’s get started!

The “home base” of our state data tables provides the links to the Medicaid, CHIP, and integrated state-based Marketplace (SBM) websites that were reviewed to find outreach and enrollment resources. As a starting point, we thought it would be useful to provide the landing pages for online application portals in each state, as well as links to the application that can be printed and returned by mail. These are two of four application modes – online, mail, phone, or in-person – that states are required to offer.

We quickly realized that even something that is required of states – providing an avenue for individuals to apply on paper – can illustrate a state’s approach to outreach and enrollment assistance. We could find no paper application available on Montana’s website and it took several people and multiple searches to locate Florida’s paper application.

Most states have an enrollment landing page that directs users on the different ways to submit applications. Health First Colorado provides a good example of an enrollment landing page where the available application methods are laid out in a straight-forward manner. On the other hand, Florida’s enrollment landing page focuses on online applications and mentions the call center for questions. But it doesn’t point out that individuals may apply over the phone, on paper, or in person.

Some states also have mobile apps where users can apply for and manage their benefits on the go. The state tables only include “apps” managed by the state agency that allow individuals to newly apply for coverage. These apps most often include other online account features like updating contact information, uploading documents, or renewing coverage. Oregon’s mobile app – Oregon One Mobile – allows for initial application for a variety of public benefits, allows users to upload documents, and allows for benefits management.

Next week, we will dive into one of the most interesting aspects of the snapshot: social media. Stay tuned for more.