Date: June 21, 2006
To: All DHS staff
From: Bruce Goldberg, Director
Re: Medicaid Eligibility and Proof of Citizenship
As many of you know, a provision in the 2006 federal Deficit Reduction Act requires Medicaid applicants and recipients to provide documentation of identification and citizenship. This provision, which takes effect July 1, will not initially change our work processes. All DHS staff should continue doing business as usual until the department has provided specific guidance for implementation. Staff from throughout the department are researching options for implementing the new documentation requirements in a way that will not jeopardize people’s health and safety. Once the specific implementation rules and procedures are
developed, they will be provided to you along with directions for working with clients. No operational changes should occur until planning and training have been completed. If you hear concerns from clients before then, please reassure them that DHS will work with them to identify and locate the documents they need to prove No one will be denied access to these programs or rejected from these programs if they meet existing eligibility requirements. Our overarching goal in this transition is to ensure no harm occurs to anyone as we implement
these new federal requirements. Although the new federal regulations require more documentation, there remains some flexibility for handling situations where clients cannot provide such items as birth certificates, photo I.D.s or other identification materials. Because good health and access to health care is important to everyone, my goal is to implement these new requirements in a manner that meets the law without harming needy individuals. As you know, Medicaid is health insurance that helps many people who can’t afford medical care pay for some or all of their medical bills. As with other Medicaid program requirements, states must implement an effective process for ensuring compliance with documentation of citizenship in order to obtain federal matching funds. Effective compliance will be part of Medicaid program integrity monitoring. I appreciate that this change is causing concern among staff and clients, and I thank you in advance for your efforts as we move through this transition.