San Bernardino County, Calif., Supporting Families After Welfare Reform Program Sought to Remove Obstacles to Families Keeping Health and Food Stamp Benefits

From 2002 to 2004, the San Bernardino County Human Services System sought to increase the number of individuals and families receiving Medicaid by 15 percent and State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits by:

  • Analyzing the reasons that eligible families were not enrolled in Medicaid or the CHIP.
  • Developing short tests of strategies to address enrollment problems caused by county practices.
  • Reducing the percentage of renewal requests that were returned with incomplete information.
  • Increasing the percentage of denied welfare applications that were referred for separate Medicaid determinations.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Supporting Families After Welfare Reform: Access to Medicaid, SCHIP and Food Stamps national program.

Key Results

Over the course of the project, the county agency:

  • Reduced the percentage of denied welfare cases not referred for Medicaid-only eligibility determination from 25 percent to 13 percent.
  • Achieved a ten percent higher quiz pass rate for people who attended the Lunch and Learn lunch hour training session (held for employees at local business sites) than for those who did not.
  • Received 30 percent more applications or re-evaluations that were ready to process from families who got envelope reminder notices than from families who did not.
  • As of September 2004, increased Medicaid enrollment in San Bernardino County by nearly 24 percent, and increased enrollment in SCHIP by 18 percent over their levels in August 2001.