Expanding Health Care Coverage

Grantee Name

Lake Research Partners

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage

Publication Date

April 2011

Grant Amount

$98,175

Grant Date:

November 1, 2008 – December 31, 2008

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A substantial number of New York State Medicaid, Family Health Plus (FHP), and Child Health Plus (CHP) beneficiaries lose their health coverage each month.

Churning (i.e., people moving in and out of public coverage programs rather than staying continuously enrolled) disrupts the health care of some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers and results in higher administrative costs for the State. Under this grant, Lake Research Partners conducted eight focus groups with former Medicaid, FHP, and CHP beneficiaries who had recently lost their public health insurance coverage because they did not complete the annual recertification process. The goal of the study was to understand why many beneficiaries do not complete the annual recertification process for Medicaid, FHP, and CHP.

This project was part of a larger NYSHealth authorization that funded a series of quick-strike analyses to help the New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH’s) Office of Health Insurance Programs (OHIP) find ways to streamline and expand its public health insurance programs.

Read an NYSHealth special report that contains a summary of findings from this authorization.

Read the Lake Research Partners report, Reducing Enrollee Churning in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and Family Health Plus: Findings from Eight Focus Groups with Recently Disenrolled Individuals.

The research conducted through this grant garnered media attention, including a New York Times article on the difficulties associated with recertifying Medicaid in New York State.

Additional outcomes of the focus groups resulted in strong support of OHIP’s decision to make the public health insurance program renewal process less confusing by implementing a telephone renewal project.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Subcontracted with four organizations to recruit participants and manage the focus groups.
  • Facilitated eight focus groups during November and December 2008 in Albany, Buffalo, and New York City with former Medicaid, FHP, and CHP beneficiaries who had recently lost their public health insurance coverage because they did not complete the annual recertification process.
  • Developed a discussion guide to use in the focus groups. Both NYSHealth staff and OHIP officials edited the discussion guide to ensure that the results of the focus groups could be useful and actionable for the State.
  • Michael Perry, Partner at Lake Research, presented the study findings to the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board, which allowed him to discuss the project in detail and share results on a real-time basis.