Publications / Making Medicaid Communications Easy to Understand: Cross-Project Insights

Making Medicaid Communications Easy to Understand: Cross-Project Insights

Medicaid is the health insurance program for millions of Americans with low incomes including adults, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and children. But too often, Medicaid applicants and enrollees cannot easily read or understand the program forms and documents that are created specifically for them. Sometimes this is because the documents are written at too advanced a reading level. Sometimes the translations are either inaccurate or nonexistent, making it difficult for non-English speakers to access necessary information.

Understanding that these communication barriers can prevent people from applying for, maintaining, or effectively using their Medicaid benefits, CHCF initiated several projects between 2020 and 2023 aimed at enhancing the readability of communications in California’s Medicaid program, called Medi-Cal. This paper compiles key findings from those projects and presents actionable recommendations for Medicaid administrators, advocates, and other stakeholders to improve the clarity of written materials.

Key takeaways:

  • The paper identifies 13 specific recommendations to make materials more readable and usable – including using everyday language and minimizing acronyms, providing the right amount of detail, and using design elements to improve understanding.
  • The paper describes the process of conducting research on Medicaid communications, including key informant interviews and user testing.
  • The paper also provides high-level policy and best practice recommendations to foster long-lasting change.

What's Trending

Explore the most popular publications, blogs, resources, and more from CHCF.