Lead Story

State staff works through challenges to clear federal logjam

HHSC had a plan to make sure the state could handle an influx in applications when the federal Marketplace opened October 1. Those would be sent to a special team, sparing field offices from the extra workload. That plan quickly unraveled when the federal government was unable to transfer cases to states for months, creating a logjam of work that hit all at once. Eligibility staff across Texas were called on to process more than 100,000 applications as quickly as possible. They rolled up their sleeves and moved the mountain.

 “Our original plan was to use our Assistance Response Team and our Quality Assurance field staff – people who are out doing case reading and monitoring,” said Kirsten Jumper, who was responsible for developing HHSC’s plan for the processing of transfers from the federal Marketplace. “We would train them and just route these transfers to one queue and let those staff work them all.”