Examining the potential of information technology to improve public insurance application processes: enrollee assessments from a concurrent mixed method analysis.
Bottom Line: A majority of enrollees will embrace IT-enabled enrollment, but a small yet significant group continues to lack access to facilitating technologies.IT holds the promise of improving efficiency and reducing barriers for enrollees, but state and federal agencies managing public insurance programs need to ensure access to traditional processes and make caseworkers available to those who require and value such assistance, even after implementing IT-enabled processes.However, state and federal officials should be cognizant of the technological readiness of recipients and provide offline help to ensure broad participation in the insurance market.
Affiliation: Institute of Health Administration, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.Show MeSH
Mentions: Medicaid respondents were asked to think about selected steps in the application process and indicate their preference for use of the Internet rather than face-to-face interaction on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 meaning a complete preference. CHIP respondents were given the inverse questions and asked to indicate their preference for face-to-face interactions, with 5 meaning complete preference. Table 5 reports the percentage of respondents in Medicaid with a ‘weak’ preference for IT, meaning they evaluated their preference for IT as a 1 or a 2, and CHIP respondents with a strong preference for face-to-face, meaning they evaluated their preference for face-to-face a 4 or 5. Despite their different prior experiences, the share reporting a weak preference for IT-enabled or a strong preference for face-to-face processes is not much different between CHIP and Medicaid respondents across these potential steps in the process. A majority of respondents in both groups would prefer to use the Internet to complete their application, consistent with the third theme from the focus groups. Across both groups the weakest preference for IT enabled processes was reported for income and identity verification. While we do not report differences in IT preferences across demographic groups, we observed that across most responses, rural residents were significantly less likely to prefer Internet over face-to-face interactions (see figure 1).
Affiliation: Institute of Health Administration, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.