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Newsroom State announces online portal for Medicaid benefits

TOPEKA—Kansans seeking state medical assistance can now apply online.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) are announcing a new online portal designed to help Kansans assess whether they're eligible for medical assistance and to apply for Medicaid and HealthWave via the Internet.
"While we still have the paper application method available, Kansans can now apply for medical assistance online in a paperless system that will greatly streamline this process," said Robert Moser, M.D., KDHE Secretary and State Health Officer. "Processing times will be faster, which benefits both the consumer and the taxpayer."
The online portal, officially called the Customer Self-Service Portal (CSSP), is the product of the first phase of the Kansas Eligibility Enforcement System (KEES), a multi-year information systems project that will revolutionize the way Kansans apply for state assistance. When the eligibility system component of KEES is introduced in the fall of 2013, it will improve the accuracy of eligibility determination and reduce fraud and waste by ensuring assistance for only those eligible for Kansas health and human services.
The portal went live on July 27. Since then, small groups of users have tested and verified that the portal is working as designed. During this controlled production period, the online portal was made available to only a select group of community support staff at clinics and hospitals that help their clients determine whether they could be eligible for medical assistance and apply for Medicaid. Around 80 applications were processed between July 30 and Sept. 6. This time allowed the State of Kansas to determine whether the new system was ready for full production.
When KEES is fully in place in late 2013, it will completely streamline the enrollment system for state benefits like food, child care, medical and cash assistance as well as other family services. The project means quicker processing times and faster approvals for submitted applications that include accurate and verifiable information. Furthermore, KEES will minimize fraud through improved recordkeeping and cross checks with other state agencies.
"I look forward to the full implementation of KEES, when the electronic portal will be incorporated into DCF services," said Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore. "The system is designed to identify fraud, prevent duplication and reduce errors as Kansans apply for government assistance."
"To get the first phase of this project off the ground and ready for consumer use is a huge undertaking," said Anthony Schlinsog, Director of Information Technology for the State of Kansas. "I'm thrilled with how easy this system makes it for consumers to evaluate whether they may be eligible and to apply for medical benefits."
Currently, consumers will use the portal to apply for benefits from Medicaid and HealthWave; however, in January 2013, those programs will be renamed KanCare. KDHE will have representatives at the State Fair in Hutchinson Sept. 7-16 who can demonstrate the use of the online portal; look for the KanCare booth in the Meadowlark Building. The online portal can be accessed from several state web pages, but a direct link to it is here: