TARRYTOWN - While New York State’s Child Health Plus (CHPlus) program offers free or affordable health insurance coverage to uninsured children under the age of 19, coverage lasts only one year. So for parents and guardians, renewing CHPlus becomes an annual ritual. If the paperwork isn’t completed on time, children lose their coverage. And, many do. In fact, the percentage of CHPlus members that do not renew ranges from 8 percent to 35 percent in New York State, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. And studies show that parents often forego medical treatment for children when they do not have insurance.
Now, Hudson Health Plan – an MVP Health Care Company – has made it easier for parents and guardians to keep their children covered. Hudson is the first health plan in New York State to develop a process to accept CHPlus renewals online. All that parents and guardians have to do is fill out a short online form. Once Hudson verifies their IDs, the coverage is renewed. If additional documentation is required, parents can fax it to Hudson. If Hudson needs even more information, a member of its Customer Care team will contact parents. Hudson continues to offer parents the option of renewing by mail or meeting with a Hudson Certified Application Counselor.
Being the first health plan to offer CHPlus renewal online is but the latest in Hudson’s decade-long drive to use technology to streamline Medicaid and CHPlus coverage. In the forefront among health plans, Hudson also was the first New York Medicaid managed care organization to let members apply for coverage online via a mobile-friendly website, and to enable CHPlus subscribers to pay their monthly premiums online, which reduces the risk that children will lose coverage for nonpayment. Today close to 40 percent of Hudson’s CHPlus subscribers pay online.
The bottom line for Hudson is that technology can help people obtain and retain health insurance. It developed the online CHPlus renewal application to prevent lapses in coverage, as it can take up to three months to re-enroll a child in CHPlus.
"We want to do everything we can to keep children enrolled and avoid any gap in coverage, and online renewal is essential to that process," explains Georganne Chapin, President & CEO of Hudson Health Plan and Executive Vice President for Corporate Affairs at MVP Health Care. "Without coverage, children may not go to the doctor when they are sick, they may not receive their immunizations, or they may not have access to medication for a chronic condition such as asthma if their parents can’t afford it. Allowing parents to renew Child Health Plus online can make a material difference in the life of their child. That’s why we remain committed to developing and using innovative technology to meet the needs of all our members," Ms. Chapin says.