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High Medicaid enrollment, but also huge backlog for processing

Reported by: Sandra Gonzalez
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Updated: 4/14/2014 2:40 pm

LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Thousands of Nevadans now have health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act, but the state is having a hard time keeping up with processing some of the applications. Nearly 150,000 Nevadans qualified for Medicaid insurance.

Since the exchange opened, thousands of nevadans have qualified for medicaid, because of their low incomes. The enrollment has skyrocketed, so much that there is a huge backlog of more than 60-thousand applicants.

Mike Wilden, Director of Health and Human Services in Nevada says he is trying to do all he can to keep up the processing: from hiring temps, to approving overtime, whatever it takes to get the backlog of Medicaid to a manageable level of about 20,000. His goal is June.

As of the end of last month, the Nevada Health Link reported to a legislative health committee that 145,000 applications were sent to Medicaid. 134,000 of them were pre-eligible.

Last year, the state estimated in Nevada, more than 600,000 Nevadans were uninsured.

Wilden says he hopes to get the humber of those formerly uninsured to more than 200,000, and next year 300,000.

State leaders are also happy to see more people dealing with mental health, now insured through Medicaid.

As the numbers climb of those covered through Medicaid, three new offices have opened to help in the processing. Two of them are here in Southern Nevada.



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