Outreach and Maintenance of Medicaid Enrollment
For many government safety net programs, beneficiaries must regularly demonstrate eligibility to avoid losing benefits. This project uses a field experiment to identify the effect of outreach strategy on beneficiaries’ maintenance of Medicaid enrollment. The topic is timely because an upcoming policy change will increase demonstration of eligibility requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries nationwide. The experimental population includes 168,000 households in Wisconsin enrolled in fee-for-service Medicaid who must renew or lose their coverage. The implementation partner is Covering Wisconsin, the navigator organization contracted by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to conduct outreach to these beneficiaries. Experimental arms will vary the number of outreach messages (1 vs. 2) and the modality of assistance offered (texting with a chatbot vs. calling a hotline to speak with an assister). We hypothesize that a) receipt of multiple messages will increase Medicaid enrollment, and b) an invitation to connect by telephone will increase enrollment among people in vulnerable groups including people who are members of racial/ethnic minority groups, prefer a language other than English, are older than 50, had lower baseline income, or had higher past health care costs. This research will identify novel, scalable outreach methods to help low-income people maintain access to benefits.