One-e-App Helps Keep Healthy San Francisco Healthy

Program taps automated tool to enroll hundreds during start-up period

Across the country, policymakers are watching San Francisco’s efforts to help its uninsured residents access affordable health care. More than 5,500 people in San Francisco are now part of “Healthy San Francisco,” one of the first universal health care access programs in the nation. Their path to enrollment was eased — in large part — by a sophisticated electronic tool called One-e-App that streamlines the application process.

Developed by the Oakland, Calif.-based Center to Promote HealthCare Access, One-e-App enables applicants to provide information and required documentation at one time for almost every type of public health coverage, including Healthy San Francisco and Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid program).

“Our staff and clients see the benefits of electronic enrollment through One-e-App,” said Tangerine Brigham, director of Healthy San Francisco. “We are now in a better position to pursue all options for public funding for health care services.”

San Francisco is the eighth county in California, including Alameda, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Mateo, to use One-e-App as part of a strategy to address the growing problem of families and individuals who do not have health care coverage. Arizona and Indiana also use versions of One-e-App. Automating the screening and application submission processes has been a key goal for counties and states seeking not only to find coverage for families but also to maximize federal resources such as Medicaid, before tapping state and local funds.

Claudia Page, director of The Center to Promote HealthCare Access, said automating the enrollment process is a “win-win” for government agencies and families. “By eliminating stacks of paper, along with manual and duplicative steps, eligibility and enrollment can happen in minutes rather than weeks. This makes a huge difference to individuals and families in need of coverage,” she said.

Cities and counties throughout California are desperate to find ways to cover and enroll their uninsured residents, particularly as statewide plans to expand health care coverage remain stalled and federal cuts to the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) loom large. One-e-App will be valuable, regardless of changes in local, state or even national health care policy, according to Page because, “any reform will still require piecing together a patchwork of programs and funding streams and One-e-App is the front-end tool for this task.”

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About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.