Administrative Easing: Rule Reduction and Medicaid Enrollment

Ashley M. Fox, Edmund C. Stazyk, Wenhui Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Administrative burden is widely recognized as a barrier to program enrollment, denying legal entitlements to many potentially eligible individuals. Building on recent research in behavioral public administration, this article examines the effect of voluntary state reductions in administrative burden (administrative easing) on Medicaid enrollment rates using differential implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Using a novel data set that includes state-level data on simplified enrollment and renewal procedures for Medicaid from 2008 to 2017, the authors examine how change in Medicaid enrollment is conditioned by the adoption of rule-reduction procedures. Findings show that reductions in the administrative burden required to sign up for Medicaid were associated with increased enrollments. Real-time eligibility and reductions in enrollment burden were particularly impactful at increasing enrollment for both children and adults separate from increases in Medicaid income eligibility thresholds. The results suggest that efforts to ease the cognitive burden of enrolling in entitlement programs can improve take-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-117
Number of pages14
JournalPublic Administration Review
Volume80
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

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