CMS Tells Calif., Other States To Fix Medicaid Application Backlog
California is one of six states that have been given a Monday deadline to inform CMS how they are going to resolve a backlog of Medicaid applications that has prevented more than one million eligible applicants from receiving coverage under the program, Kaiser Health News' "Capsules" reports.
On June 27, CMS sent a letter to officials in Alaska, California, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee, notifying them that they had 10 working days to provide their response plans.
CMS spokesperson Aaron Albright noted that the states have to submit "updated mitigation plans to address gaps that exist in their eligibility and enrollment systems to ensure timely processing of applications and access to coverage for eligible people."
With the exception California, all the states use the federal health insurance exchange and only two -- California and Michigan -- have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
An analysis by KHN in June found that about 1.7 million U.S. residents in 15 states who had enrolled in Medicaid still were waiting for the applications to be processed.
It is unclear if any plans have already been submitted, "Capsules" reports. However, California Department of Health spokesperson Norman Williams said the state has made progress in reducing its backlog. According to "Capsules," the state recently reported a backlog of 600,000 applications, down from an estimated 900,000 in May.
Meanwhile, Tennessee Medicaid spokesperson Kelly Gunderson said the state does not have a backlog of applications, adding that there are "numerous aspects of the [CMS] letter with which we do not agree, and we are currently working on our response to CMS" (Galewitz, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 7/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.