Medicaid Real-Time Eligibility Determinations and Automated Renewals

Research Report

Medicaid Real-Time Eligibility Determinations and Automated Renewals

Lessons for Medi-Cal from Colorado and Washington


The Affordable Care Act provided funding for states to upgrade their Medicaid and CHIP enrollment and renewal systems. States have implemented electronic application, eligibility determination, and renewal systems in different ways, on different timelines, and with different levels of success. Urban Institute researchers studied two states (Colorado and Washington) with high rates of “real-time” Medicaid eligibility determinations and automated Medicaid renewals to identify potential best practices and lessons that California policymakers and health coverage advocates could use to help strengthen the state’s Medicaid systems. This report describes the approaches Colorado and Washington used to increase administrative efficiencies and reduce barriers for consumers seeking to apply for and renew enrollment in their state Medicaid programs. Lessons learned from this study may be instructive for policymakers in California and other states across the country.
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