Texting Helps Medicaid Plans Provide Better Care

Press Release
By: Alicia Pierce | Saturday, March 11, 2023

The Texas Association of Health Plans supports HB 2802 and SB 1127 to expand the of use texting in Medicaid 

(Austin, TX) – The Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP) supports HB 2802 by Rep. Toni Rose and SB 1127 by Sen. César Blanco, two bills that would make it easier for Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs) to communicate with Medicaid families via text message. 

The legislation is especially important as the state begins the Medicaid eligibility redetermination process for an estimated 2.7 million Texans who have had continuous coverage as a response to the COVID public health emergency.

“The state is about to review eligibility for millions of Texans who have not had to submit to eligibility checks in three years,” said TAHP CEO Jamie Dudensing. “In this time, people have changed addresses, lost login information, and have simply forgotten the process. Texting offers a direct way to connect with these Texans at a time they need this information and support the most.”

The proposed legislation would allow beneficiaries to opt out instead of formally opting into texts about important health information, enrollment, and eligibility renewal. This small change simplifies the application for applicants while expanding the amount of important information individuals can receive in a format they prefer. 

The FCC’s recent announcement allows states to use text messaging to remind Medicaid beneficiaries to respond to eligibility requests. At least 21 states already allow texting with implied consent and an option to unsubscribe. When Montana began sending texts and emails to update addresses, individuals who received a text were 40% more likely to update their entire contact information, and about 25% of members responded to update their mailing addresses specifically.

HB 2802 and SB 1127 would allow Medicaid MCOs in Texas to use text messaging for important health information, such as upcoming appointment reminders and elTAHP supports the bills and encourages passage in the Texas Legislature.

About Texas Association of Health Plans

The Texas Association of Health Plans (TAHP) is the statewide trade association representing health insurers, HMOs, and other related healthcare entities operating in Texas. Our members provide health and supplemental benefits to Texans through employer-sponsored coverage, the individual insurance market, and public programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. TAHP advocates for public and private healthcare solutions that improve the affordability, access, and value of healthcare for consumers, employers and taxpayers.

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