The rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will extend health coverage to millions of uninsured low-income individuals.This report explores the ways in which implementation of the ACA enables other agencies serving low-income households to streamline and modernize their own systems to ensure that families are accessing all the services for which they are eligible while potentially reducing errors and administrative costs.
Streamlining the process of applying for assistance will benefit low-income children and families
Findings & Stats
Automatic Enrollment Is Key
Numerous studies show that automatically enrolling people in benefits programs, rather than requiring they submit an application, increases participation dramatically.
The federal government estimates that only about two-thirds of those eligible for SNAP benefits in 2008 actually received them.
More than 43% of low-income parents were uninsured as of 2009; it is anticipated that 3 million additional parents will receive health coverage through ACA’s expansion of Medicaid.
Statements & Quotations
Put simply, if policymakers want a substantial increase in human services participation among people who apply for health coverage under the ACA, they need to ensure that, when applicants ask for their information to be shared with a human services program, the latter program automatically begins determining eligibility without waiting for the client to complete a human services application form.
The federal agencies responsible for these human services programs could help this process move forward by issuing guidance that explicitly authorizes policies and procedures like those described here. They could also help by providing sample data sharing agreements, software and business rules that include safeguards for privacy and data security.
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