On October 1st, Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) and Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IDHFS) significantly improved the way in which individuals apply for Medicaid, SNAP and Cash Assistance by deploying a new web portal (www.ABE.illinois.gov) and starting a new 100 person call center that allowed individuals to apply over the phone. In addition, we took advantage of enhanced federal funding to begin replacing our 30 plus year-old legacy systems.
With the combination of an increase in applications, transition to a new system, and delayed transfer of cases from the www.healthcare.gov website who were deemed potentially Medicaid eligible, we have fallen behind in processing applications. Caseworker productivity on the new system has steadily grown since October, but it has yet to match the increased demand generated by the Affordable Care Act and our new enhanced intake capabilities.
We are currently working on a variety of system enhancements, business process improvements, and increased staffing to address this increased backlog. We believe that by summer this backlog will be reduced to more traditional levels, and we will have taken a very significant step toward building a modern benefit delivery system.
Michelle R.B. Saddler
Illinois Department of Human Services