HEALTHY FAMILIES: State Releases ‘Streamlined’ Application
Top state health officials this week unveiled a revised, four- page application that is easier to use and that they hope will increase enrollment into both Healthy Families and Medi-Cal. State Health Director Kim Belshe said the "dramatically revised" application "will be rolled out early next year." Leona Butler, a member of the application revision workgroup, said the "dramatically streamlined document" -- down from 28 pages -- should produce "a noticeable increase in enrollment into both programs and remove what was once a major barrier to enrollment." The new application no longer requires applicants to make complex income calculations, instead placing the responsibility in the hands of program administrators (see past coverage). In addition, the simplified application establishes a single point of entry for all applications, utilizes a one-step mail-in eligibility process and no longer requires follow-ups if all necessary information is included. "California has taken an important step toward developing a more user-friendly application that families can fill out themselves and mail-in to apply for services," said Crystal Hayling of the Medi-Cal Policy Institute. "We are confident that this revised application, taken together with continued aggressive marketing of the Healthy Families program to diverse communities statewide, will close the gap of uninsured children in California and help to alleviate the fears of those families who have no health coverage for their children," Belshe said (DHS release, 12/1).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.