Governor Gray Davis announced that California will utilize the Internet to significantly speed enrollment in the Healthy Families program, the State's low-cost health insurance program for low income working families.
"We've turned Healthy Families into a California success story," Governor Davis said. "We've streamlined the paper application as far as it will go. Now it's time to put the power of technology to work for Healthy Families."
Health-e-App, a new Web-based application process was pilot tested last January in six community-based organizations in San Diego County, Outreach workers, some equipped with notebook computers and high-speed wireless modems, enrolled applicants in clinics, schools, WIC sites and even in applicants' homes. The results show that Health-e-App will dramatically improve the speed, accuracy and consumer satisfaction of the State's current application process.
Applicants found Health-e-App to be quick and easy and valued the immediate confirmation statement received from the state when the application was submitted over the Internet. Healthy Families and Medi-Cal for Children Program Certified Application Assistants (CAAs) reported that Health-e-App enhanced their effectiveness in serving clients, by minimizing paper work, automating computation of income, and generating red flags that appear when an entry error occurred.
"This is the nation's first fully-automated Healthy Families application, "Governor Davis said. "It's faster, more efficient, and more accurate than the paper version. And it provides immediate results."
When Governor Davis took office, 30,000 children were enrolled in the Healthy Families program. Today, more than 430,000 children are enrolled. The Davis administration had led an aggressive outreach campaign to reach eligible families and has simplified the application from 28 pages down to four, reducing the average completion time from 60 minutes to 20.
Health-e-App was developed by the California Health-Care Foundation in partnership with the State of California. The Foundation provided $1 million in funding to develop and test the new process.
In addition to his commitment to enrolling every eligible child in the Healthy Families program, Governor Davis also called on the Federal Government to grant a waiver allowing California to provide health care coverage to 158,000 working parents.
"Healthy children today mean a healthier, more productive, more prosperous California tomorrow," the Governor continued. "A healthy family is more than healthy children. It's healthy mothers and fathers too."
The Governor's current year Budget includes $800,000 (a combination of a $300,000 grant from the California HealthCare Foundation and $500,000 in federal funds) for health-e-App technical infrastructure. Governor Davis included $1.3 million in the 2001-2002 Budget to fund statewide implementation of Health-e-App over the next year. Twenty-one-thousand community-based CAAs that currently provide families with free help in completing the paper vision of the joint Healthy Families Program/Medi-Cal for Children application are being trained to assist families with the new on-line application.
To view short video testimonials from CAAS and others involved in the pilot, or to experience a narrated on-line demonstration of Health-e-App, please visit the Health-e-App Web site at www.healtheapp.org.