Sneak Preview: GAO: State Medicaid E-Verification Efforts Lagging

September 28, 2012 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) Because states have been slow to fully implement Medicaid electronic assess verification systems, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will be assessing what type of information states are now collecting to verify applicant eligibility based on financial assets to determine how it will best provide technical assistance.

To assess applicant financial eligibility for Medicaid coverage, states generally require them to document certain assets on their applications. To verify the accuracy of these assets, states may seek information from financial institutions or governmental agencies such as the Social Security Administration.

In 2008, Congress enacted appropriations legislation (Pub. L. 110-252) requiring states to implement an electronic AVS to help verify the assets of Medicaid applications. An AVS would provide states with a mechanism to contact multiple financial institutions to determine if an applicant has or had a financial account and the value of any existing accounts. The law required states to set up these systems on a rolling basis between fiscal year 2009 and fiscal year 2013.

The Government Accountability Office report recently evaluated what type of applicant asset information states collect and the status of their AVS implementation. It reviewed whether states sought applicant information on the following 13 types of assets: earned income, unearned income, financial and investment resources, life insurance, primary residence, real property other than primary residence, vehicles, annuities, burial contracts and prepaid funeral arrangements, continuing care retirement community entrance fees, life estates, promissory notes or loans, and trusts.

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