Study Links Online App to Enrollment Jump for Calif. Health Program

An online application tool could be responsible for boosting enrollment rates for Healthy Families, according to a study by Mathematica Policy Research, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. Healthy Families is California's Children's Health Insurance Program.

The study was funded by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation. CHCF publishes iHealthBeat.

Health-e-App became publicly available in late 2010, and the Spanish version of the tool went live in early 2011.

Study Findings

The study found that in 2011 Health-e-App was used by 50,425 applicants in 56 of the state's 58 counties. According to the study, the online enrollment process was used for 42% of all applications last year.

Use of Health-e-App was associated with a 14% increase in total Healthy Families applications from 2010 to 2011. Researchers said that the growth in applications appears to be entirely attributable to the online tool.

The study also found that the online tool attracted residents who otherwise would not have applied for Healthy Families coverage.

Healthy Families Response

In a news release, Cliff Allenby -- chair of the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board, which oversees the Healthy Families program -- said the study "tells us our focus on the use of technology to facilitate enrollment was the right direction and that this is how people want to be served" (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/7).

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