Wednesday, May 07, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, April 30 2014, 10:47 PM CDT
By MELISSA VEGA
News 4 San Antonio
SAN ANTONIO --April Rodriguez says for the past four months she's been trying to enroll her two daughter's in the Children's Health Insurance Program also known as CHIP. "I couldn't sleep every morning, it was on my 'to do list' to remind (myself) to call CHIP."
Rodriguez told News 4 San Antonio she called the state at least 20 times, and received several letters from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services Commission, saying her daughters were eligible for CHIP. "I was in a real dilemma," she said. A Texas Department of Health and Human Services Commission spokesperson tells News 4 San Antonio there was an error in the case, but it wasn't a system issue. "The worker processing the case failed to take a the final step on the case so it didn't show as completed in the system," said Stephanie Goodman, an agency spokesperson. News 4 San Antonio uncovered there were other technical issues that may have affected response times for other CHIP applications. In an email Goodman says "The first three months of this year weren't typical because we received a flood of applications from the federal Marketplace. We've now worked through all those applications, but it may have affected our response time earlier this year… If someone applies for health coverage at the federal Marketplace but may be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, the federal government is supposed to forward that application to the state. We were supposed to start getting those case in October when the Marketplace opened, but technical issues meant the federal government couldn't send them. We got some cases in January, but all the technical issues weren't resolved until February. We then received more than 130,000 applications that had to be processed quickly". We're told if you have an issue with your CHIP or Medicaid case, first call 2-1-1 to try and resolve the problem. If you aren't satisfied with the answer or you don't get an answer quickly, you can call our Ombudsman's Office to escalate the issue. That number is 877-787-8999.
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