Online application goes statewide
- By Brian Robinson
- Jun 27, 2001
After a successful pilot program in San Diego County, California has opted
for a full-scale ramp up of the Health-e-App program, which takes the application
process for state-provided health insurance online.
During the pilot program, health outreach workers some equipped with
notebook computers and high-speed wireless modems signed up low-income
working families at clinics, schools, applicants' homes, and at Women, Infants
and Children (WIC) sites.
The online program will speed the application process tremendously,
said Richard Popper, assistant director for the state's Managed Risk Medical
Insurance Board, which administers the Healthy Families insurance program.
The expectation is that more people will sign on to the program because
they will no longer have to spend the time completing paper forms.
"It reduces the average time to fill out the form from an hour to less
than 30 minutes, plus it gives immediate notification that the application
has been received, which means no more "lost in the mail' notices," he said.
"It also removes the three- or four-day delay while the paper form goes
through the mail."
While the system is intended for use now by the state's 21,000 certified
health application assistants, the intention is to enable families to apply
for the Healthy Families program through the Health-e-App Web site (www.healtheapp.org) at libraries, kiosks and even grocery stores, said Claudia
Page, program officer at the California HealthCare Foundation, which developed
Health-e-App in partnership with the state.
The application for Healthy Families is seen as the first phase of the
Health-e-App project. The goal during the next few years is also to link
WIC, food stamp and child care programs, all of which use at least some
of the same basic information as Healthy Families, through Health-e-App.
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.