All states were required to begin implementing a new federal law on July 1 of 2006. This law, a provision of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, requires U.S. citizens to present proof of their citizenship and identity when applying for or seeking to renew their Medicaid coverage.
It has been nine months since the law has gone into affect and the reports from states have been shocking. States are saying that they are seeing a dramatic decrease in Medicaid enrollment particularly among low income families. States are also reporting
that they are seeing a significant increase in administrative costs as a direct result of the new requirements.
Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, has recently said that the states enrollment has declined by 18,000 people since the citizenship documentation has taken affect. Sebelius says that many of these people are likely citizens who simply lack the documents and who may now experience a harmful gap in health insurance coverage.
The law states that when applying or renewing for coverage you must be able to provide one of the following documents: U.S. Passport, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship. If you do not have any of those then you must provide
one document for citizenship and one document for identity. For citizenship you must provide: a birth certificate or birth record, adoption records showing place of birth or military record. For identity you will need one of the following: Drivers License, Federal, State or Local ID, Military ID, Native American Tribal Document.
The law states that everyone who coverage is applied for must show proof of identity and citizenship, to include children. The above lists is fine for citizenship but for identity a minor will need one of the following: School ID, School Records, Licensed or registered daycare documents, Medical records.
With all the new documents being required it has put an overload on an already taxed system. The Kansas Health Policy Authority (KHPA) says that their work load has more than doubled with no assistance being offered from the federal government. On a normal month KHPA's Kansas Family Medical Clearinghouse will receive 23,000 customer service calls. Now since the implementation of the new law the calls have swelled to 49,000. Voicemail has increased from 1,200 to 11,00 and faxes have gone up to 6,000.