Electronic Notification Helps Keep Utah Kids Connected to Coverage – Say Ahhh! A Children’s Health Policy Blog

Thumbnail image for barb1-2.jpg

By Barbara Munoz, Voices for Utah Children

Although I am admittedly behind the curve a bit, I am proud to say I finally own a smart phone. The level of functionality of this “phone” (let’s be honest, it’s a tiny computer) is astounding. I can check my email, my Facebook account, send out a “tweet”, purchase goods online, and even turn my phone into a flashlight! With so many people turning more and more to their phones and computers to complete numerous day to day transactions, we at Voices for Utah Children believed that surely all this fantastic technology could be used to help kids get and keep their health care coverage as well!

Last year, Voices for Utah Children approached the state to consider the idea of using electronic notification to alert clients that their CHIP premium was due. As many of you know, the problem of “churning” is a great concern. We are constantly seeking ways to make it easier for families to complete the renewal process, pay their premiums, and report changes that might affect their eligibility. We believed that if the state could alert clients about their CHIP premiums electronically, it would not only assist the families, but it could potentially save the state money as well. While the idea was initially met with some skepticism and resistance, to say the idea was eventually embraced with enthusiasm would be a great understatement.

Final approval came from CMS earlier this year for the State of Utah Department of Workforce Services to start giving clients the ability to “opt-in” to start receiving paperless correspondence. In additional to electronic notification, the state had begun working on an electronic case management system for client interaction called “myCase”. The system build is still in progress, but it already has some pretty amazing features:

* Our governor, Gary Herbert, announced in a speech recently to the Heritage Foundation that through electronic correspondence the state will save over six million dollars in administrative and mailing costs.

* As of mid-July, the 100,000th client had enrolled in myCase.

* Over 525,000 notices have been viewed through myCase.

* 3200 online chats per week mean less time for clients waiting on hold to speak to an eligibility specialist about their case.

While we realize that there will always be a portion of clients who are either unable or uncomfortable managing their case electronically, creating more avenues for people to keep their kids’ health coverage is always a good thing. Administrative simplification seems to be a win for everyone; the state saves money and more kids stay enrolled. Voices for Utah Children will continue to pursue additional administrative simplification measures to benefit our kids.

Scroll to Top