This week, the Louisiana Department of Health launched a new Medicaid eligibility and enrollment system. The new system will improve customer service, boost efficiency and create a more accurate and immediate approval process.
The new system replaces a 20-year old tool with modern technology. Advanced features offer self-service options for recipients and real-time eligibility decisions for applicants. It also helps Louisiana to meet the changing needs of applicants and enrollees while complying with federal and state requirements.
“This transition is like upgrading from an old flip-style cellphone to a modern smartphone,” said Dr. Rebekah Gee, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health. “The new system will better ensure eligibility by connecting with state and federal databases to automatically provide more information about income, disability, citizenship status, and other eligibility requirements. This is an exciting change, but we do ask recipients to be patient as we transition and respond to any hiccups along the way.”
The Louisiana Department of Health has been working to train eligibility team members on the new system for the last several months. In addition, the Department has implemented rigorous testing on the new system to make adjustments and to ensure a smooth transition.
Benefits of Louisiana's Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment system
- The new system will allow Louisiana residents to submit an online application and be notified of their eligibility within minutes (real-time eligibility).
- Customers will have a more convenient, self-service system, dramatically improving the customer experience. Specifically, the self-service portal will allow users to edit or change their address, employment and/or other household characteristics.
- The new automated system will also replace inefficient manual processes for caseworkers with modern new tools, technologies and electronic data sources.
How enrollment will change for recipients
- The program is expected to speed up approvals and renewals by using new tools and technology to replace manual processes.
- Medicaid enrollees will no longer receive phone calls during the renewal process. Instead, they will be notified via mail only. This mail will include further instructions on sending the Department proof that they are still eligible for benefits.
- A failure to respond by the given deadline will result in automatic closure and a loss of coverage, with certain exceptions for long-term care. It is critical that members maintain accurate contact information within the system.
- Temporarily, as workers adjust to a new system and technical issues are addressed, we expect some service delays and longer wait times on our toll-free phone line.
- The system will connect with state and federal databases to verify in real-time income, disability, citizenship and lawful presence in the United States.
- This system enables consistent enforcement of Medicaid eligibility policy, with timely, automated terminations for non-compliance.
- Medicaid caseworkers will be freed to focus more on individual clients and their cases. The automated process will increase productivity, efficiency and accuracy.
"This advanced system helps to ensure that benefits go only to those who meet eligibility and program requirements. Furthermore, it will remove much of the guesswork from Medicaid eligibility and allow applicants to quickly find out if they meet eligibility requirements," said Jen Steele, director of Louisiana Medicaid. "This also benefits taxpayers as the system ensures that we are making efficient use of public dollars."
Recognizing that switching from the old system to a new one might result in some technology or connectivity issues, Medicaid will have a rapid-response team in place to troubleshoot problems and quickly resolve issues.
Medicaid will have a command center in place to address any system problems, with the goal of quickly resolving any challenges. Additionally, the Medicaid Customer Service Unit is available at 1-888-342-6207 to direct anyone needing help navigating the system’s new self-service portal or who may have questions about their application. All calls are toll free.
For more information and frequently asked questions, visit http://www.ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/3497