Enrolling Childless Adults in Medicaid
A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation can help states prepare to enroll and care for childless adults that will be eligible for Medicaid in 2014.
New eligibility rules and funding, resulting from this year's health insurance reforms, will allow low-income, non-disabled, childless adults to apply for Medicaid in 2014. This expanded eligibility may pose challenges to states that may not be ready to enroll this newly eligible population. A new report from the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, Expanding Medicaid to Low-Income Childless Adults Under Health Reform, could help. The report consults seven states and the District of Columbia, places which offer coverage to childless adults via Medicaid waiver or state-funded programs, on the challenges and best practices in enrolling and caring for childless adults. One major finding is that many childless adults did not even know that they were eligible for Medicaid benefits since they had little contact with other social services. These states told Kaiser that using targeted marketing, gathering support from community-based organizations and providers, and utilizing technology helps in enrolling this population. The report also recommends taking time to understand the health needs of childless adults, who may have not received recent care, so states can effectively provide services. Featuring an appendix of the eight programs consulted, the report is available on the Kaiser Family Foundation's website.