July 31, 2014

State of Alabama
Press Release: Medicaid

CMS report recognizes Alabama eligibility and enrollment system

Alabama is one of five states recently recognized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for its progress in making technology updates to transition to a streamlined, data-driven eligibility determination process.


The new CARES (Centralized Alabama Recipient Eligibility System) system, implemented jointly by Alabama Medicaid and ALL Kids and developed by the Alabama Department of Public Health, was noted in a July 11, 2014 report for its early successes in implementing federally-required simplifications that significantly improve the application and enrollment process for individuals and families. Other states noted in the report include Colorado, Kentucky, New York and Utah.


The report specifically mentioned the state's new ability to make real-time eligibility determinations on almost all applications for MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income)-based eligibility groups received through the state's online portal. This new capability also enables applicants to receive a Medicaid identification number upon approval. Once the eligibility is sent to Medicaid’s claims processing system (Hewlett Packard), providers can use the system to look up individuals and confirm their enrollment. Currently the new system only processes Medicaid eligibility for children, parents, pregnant women, Plan First, former foster care children, as well as children eligible for ALL Kids.

The progress that has been made is a tribute to the collective efforts made by ADPH and Medicaid, according to Gretel Felton, Deputy Commissioner for Beneficiary Services. She explained that the new system will ultimately replace the existing architecture and structure of the current Medicaid system which is over 30 years old and suffers from technology insufficiencies common to older, outdated systems.


“While the first phase of this effort has focused on implementation of federal requirements, our ultimate goal is to create a more streamlined user experience,” she said. “Our next step is to add Medicaid’s Elderly and Disabled programs, then add Department of Human Resources programs including TANF, SNAP and Child Care. The state received approval July 18 for federal funds to add these new programs to the system.  

  • For more information, visit http://medicaid.alabama.gov
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