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More Than 1.7 Million Consumers Still Wait For Medicaid Decisions

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Of the 245,000 Ohioans who applied through healthcare.gov, for example, 93,000 were found ineligible, said state Medicaid spokesman Sam Rossi. Another 66,000 had already enrolled or are in process of enrolling directly through the state Medicaid program. Ohio, which expanded Medicaid eligibility, has more than 65,000 cases pending, he said. 

“States are digging out from huge numbers of applications they received,” said Rachel Klein, enrollment program director at consumer group, Families USA. She said some states did not increase staffing enough to be ready for the surge of applicants.

Texas, which did not expand Medicaid, rejected 79 percent of the 200,000 applicants received through healthcare.gov. Many of the transferred applications were requests for long-term care services or were ineligible because of their incomes or because they are childless adults, said Texas Medicaid spokeswoman Stephanie Goodman.

Other states with significant numbers of applications pending include Pennsylvania (60,000), Arizona (44,000), Virginia (48,000) and Nevada (42,000).

Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors, is hopeful the worst is over. He said the computerized handoffs from the federal exchange are occurring faster and states are getting more data to approve or deny applicants.

“I don’t want to say it’s been solved,” he said, “but it’s definitely getting a lot better.” 

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Fri, Jun 06 2014

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