As many as a thousand Massachusetts children could lose health benefits as a result of the state's change in computer systems, the Boston Globe reports. The state said that a new computer system is more accurately dispensing benefits, although child advocates say families have not been given enough time to protect their coverage.
The state program at issue, the Children's Medical Security Plan, provides health coverage for children from families whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid programs but are unable to obtain private insurance. In addition, the program does not require US citizenship, attracting numerous children of immigrants unable to secure coverage elsewhere.
Last year, state lawmakers shifted the program from the state Department of Public Health to the Office of Medicaid as part of a reorganization of the Commonwealth's health bureaucracy. The two agencies use different computer systems, and when state officials transferred the program's files, the Medicaid system rejected about 1,200 children's files.
So is this a case of bureaucratic bungling, or just improved computer systems?