Stalled 24,000 Medicaid applications come under process in Utah

The 24,000 Medicaid applications of Utahns have finally come under manual process after being hung in limbo for months by the federal government’s online insurance marketplace.

The Utah officials have started processing around 24,000 applications filled between October 1, 2013 and December-end. These applications were stuck in limbo and were not transferred to the Utah’s system due to technical problems with the federal’s website.

The online marketplace, a hallmark of President Barack Obama’s health care law, has been witnessing a series of technical issues since its October launch last year.

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Officials said, the eligible applications were supposed to be seamlessly forwarded to Utah’s system. But the same didn’t happen for months, leaving thousands of applicants stuck in the pipeline and unable to get coverage by January 1.

Hence, Utah administration decided to opt for another option in a bid to process the insurance requests. The staff at Utah’s Department of Workforce Services, which administers Medicaid, are manually processing the applications and feeding them in the systems. But it’s a temporary, time-consuming process.

Kevin Burt, the associate director of eligibility at DWS, said they are currently working on about 12,500 applications that came in during October and November. He hopes to go through another 11,500 applications from December by the end of next week.

Nic Dunn, Utah Department of Workforce Services spokesman, said, “As the federal health care law requires almost all citizens to have health coverage by the year end we request all those who are eligible for the scheme to apply directly with DWS.”

Meanwhile, the DWS officials are communicating with the federal systems to improve the gap. But it is expected to take time as there are still enough glitches in the process.