Maximizing Enrollment Minute: Cutting Red Tape to Keep Eligible Families Enrolled in Massachusetts

Cutting down on required paperwork submissions and increasing the use of electronic income verification in Medicaid and CHIP can reap positive dividends for states, helping them to: eliminate enrollment and renewal barriers, reduce “churning” of individuals losing and regaining coverage, increase administrative efficiencies, reduce costs, and maintain program integrity. In Massachusetts, officials for MassHealth, the combined state Medicaid and CHIP program, are taking critical steps to reduce paperwork requirements for enrollees who experience changes in income or job status. Relying on a careful analysis of program data, Massachusetts officials identified that their use of paper forms to verify income eligibility for beneficiaries who experience changes in their income or job status resulted in lost coverage for tens of thousands of individuals—most of whom later reenrolled in the program—and required the state to spend a significant amount of time and resources to distribute, respond to inquiries about, collect, and process these forms. This brief highlights an ongoing initiative by MassHealth officials to end the use of these forms and move toward a system that allows the program to verify income electronically for most of this population of beneficiaries.

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