Alabama got $55 million in bonus Medicaid money from the government by adopting a nudge

The feds gave states extra Medicaid money based on how many public health insurance eligible children they could sign-up. Alabama was the big winner thanks to some pre-filled forms. The NYT reports:

Alabama will receive a $55 million bonus, more than twice as much as any other state, for having 133,000 more children on its Medicaid rolls than projected by a formulated base line, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

To make enrollment easier, Alabama has eliminated asset tests for children, ended requirements for an in-person interview and allowed children to remain eligible for a year without renewal. It also sends out renewal forms with blanks filled in when data is known, and allows applicants to verify their forms with an electronic signature. The state has adopted “express lane eligibility” so that Medicaid application processors can use income findings from other safety net programs to validate eligibility.

Hat tip: Benjamin Littenberg.

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  • Paul Sas

    The headline is off by a factor of 1,000. Still fascinating result, but it’s millions, not billions: The Obama administration plans to announce Monday that it will make $206 million in bonus Medicaid payments to 15 states — with more than a fourth of the total going to Alabama

  • http://www.nudges.org/ Nudge blog

    Corrected. Thanks for the catch.