Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this past summer that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) could not require states to expand Medicaid, there have been dozens of stories about which states will or will not choose to accept the PPACA’s Medicaid expansion. But, according to the results of a survey by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, along with the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, regardless of which way a state is leaning over expansion, almost every state has taken advantage of federal funds, offered under the PPACA, to upgrade their dilapidated systems for Medicaid enrollment.
With about 15 to 20 states being almost certain to reject the Medicaid expansion, the acceptance of federal funds to modernize enrollment systems seems somewhat incongruous, but that incongruity is more than just a precautionary measure, should a state reject the expansion now and acquiesce at a later date, since all states will have the new health insurance exchanges. These exchanges are intended to create an easy enrollment experience, as well as allow for the enrollee to compare the benefits offered by various plans, and that is what is prompting the upgrades to these enrollment systems. Even if a state rejects the expansion now, the upgrades can be seamlessly integrated to the exchanges later.
At this point, online applications for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) have become available in 37 states, and 45 states have linked verifications for those programs with the Social Security Administration.