Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Director Theresa Eagleson discussed the state’s Medicaid redetermination process at the 2023 Illinois State of Reform Health Policy Conference.
Eagleson said redeterminations are the biggest challenge for HFS coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many customers haven’t had to renew their coverage for three years. HFS launched Ready to Renew, a public awareness campaign, to remind enrollees to renew their coverage in March.
“We have been trying to build awareness for the past year to make sure that everybody knows this is coming. I’m sure they all still don’t know this is coming. But we’ve implemented a multilingual omni-channel outreach campaign. I’ve walked into a couple (federally qualified health centers) and doctor’s offices, and I see our (quick response) code about Ready to Renew, so (I’m) glad for that. We want to make sure that everybody who is still eligible can stay enrolled, and I think that’s the biggest challenge over the coming 12 months.”
HFS uses an ex-parte system that allows it to find customer information electronically, which gives it the ability to renew individuals even if they don’t submit paperwork to the department, Eagleson said.
“Before the pandemic, we were in the low-30 percent range of people we could renew that way. In the first month [of redeterminations], we sent out the different forms, (and) we had 51 percent that we could renew automatically. Which is really incredible.”