Madison County received 50 new Medicaid applications last week.
On the evening of Dec. 16, the Ohio Integrated Eligibility system, the county’s new Medicaid eligibility system, was successfully upgraded. Ohio Benefits (www.benefits.ohio.gov) is available to residents and the Integrated Eligibility system to county users.
One key update to the system is the connection with the federal hub. The connection should be able to data-match information such as citizenship and income making the process easier for applicants.
Recently, the Ohio Department of Medicaid was notified by the federal government that Ohio can expect to receive Medicaid applications for more than 20,000 Ohioans from the federal system. Ohio is prepared to receive these cases from HealthCare.gov.
“However in light of the federal hub issues that we’ve been experiencing, Ohio will work to process the federal cases as quickly as possible, but will not rush through any step required to minimize the impact on caseworkers,” according to a report from the Madison County Health Department.
With the goal of entering all of the federal cases received from HealthCare.gov into the Ohio Integrated Eligibility system by the end of January 2014, the state will test and re-test the connections between the federal and state systems before transferring files to counties. This testing is critically important to make sure that glitches in the federal system do not transfer into the state system.
Once testing is complete, the state will turn on the full “no touch” functionality that will allow the state system to resolve more cases automatically by querying the federal system instead of referring those cases to a county for final resolution.
Medicaid coverage will begin on Jan. 1, 2014, as planned for people who are eligible for the expansion group, even if some of the applications are processed after Jan. 1.
“This is because federal law requires Medicaid to cover allowable expenses in any of the three months prior to the date a person applies, so anyone found newly eligible with allowable expenses who applies before April 1, 2014, will be eligible for Medicaid coverage dating back to Jan. 1, 2014,” according to the Health Department report.