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FYI: The state spends nearly $70 million in staff time alone to verify Child Health Plus enrollees’ eligibility each year, but finds less than 7 percent who are in fact ineligible for the program, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. Advocates have long complained that large numbers of people are driven out of Medicaid, CHiP and Family Health Plus by the state’s cumbersome re-certification process, and the Commonwealth Fund report argues that the lower a family’s income the less likely it is to go through all the needed steps to stay enrolled. The report recommends a “passive” re-certification process, in which the state would simply send a notice to enrollees each year stating their eligibility information and asking them to call if that information has changed. The state could conduct its active check every two years, rather than annually. [8/26/03]

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