The renewal and recertification process for benefit recipients is often easier than initial application and enrollment.
However, missed communications about the renewal process often leads to recipients losing benefits, forcing them to start over with an initial application.
The process doesn't stop once the first benefits are delivered.
Churn—the term for when benefit recipients disenroll from and then reapply to benefits programs within three months of disenrollment—is typically caused by recipients not being aware that they needed to renew those benefits. This loss of benefits causes substantial administrative burdens for both applicants and delivery agencies.
Innovative agencies are using human-centered design to reformat and rewrite renewal notices, nimble technology such as text messaging helps to ensure recipients receive notifications and stay enrolled, and integrating data, by sharing information between initial and recertification applications and verifying information from other sources. Here, find resources, including step-by-step guidance on taking on redesign of renewal communications and implementing technology that helps reduce coverage gaps and maximize benefits.
Lessons Churned: Measuring the Impact of Churn in Health and Human Services Programs on Participants and State and Local Agencies
Paper presenting preliminary lessons learned about SNAP churn derived from states participating in the Work Support Strategies project. It defines churn and outlines its consequences, explores approaches to measuring churns and looks at possible approaches to reduce churn.
Integrating Renewals and Correspondence
This resource highlights strategies for integrating benefits renewals and correspondence, potentially reducing administrative burdens for both clients and caseworkers.
Medicaid Churn Toolkit
Benefits Data Trust (BDT) has developed this “Medicaid Churn Toolkit” to guide Medicaid agencies and their partners in the design and implementation of efforts to reduce churn as they plan for the resumption of normal eligibility and enrollment actions after the after the initial COVID shock.
Using text message outreach to reduce churn
Text messaging can be an effective way to stay in touch and support applicants in maintaining uninterrupted benefits.
Approaches range from one-way systems that provide recertification reminders to two-way systems that allow residents to ask questions immediately. Explore guidance for every element and stage of implementing a text message outreach program.
Text to Connect: Using Text Message Outreach to Reduce SNAP Churn (Full Guide)
Nearly 1 in 5 lose SNAP benefits during the recertification process. When SNAP-eligible residents want to start receiving benefits again, they must go through the lengthy process of reapplication, generating administrative burden and cost. Text messaging allows for direct communication with clients to support them through the recertification process. This guidebook aims to equip state and local agencies with the practical insights they need to develop a text messaging outreach program for SNAP recertification.
Text to Connect: Planning a Text Message Program to Reduce SNAP Churn
This guide is the first part of a series designed to help SNAP administrators implement a text messaging program to reduce SNAP churn. This guide outlines how to scope and plan a text messaging program.
Text to Connect: Evaluation of your Text Messaging Program to Reduce SNAP Churn
This guide is the second in a series designed to help SNAP administrators implement a text messaging program to reduce SNAP churn. This guide focuses on designing an evaluation plan to assess the impact of a text messaging program.
Case studiesView all Case Studies
Project Re:new — Redesigning Michigan's Benefits Renewal Forms
Michigan residents must renew their benefits annually to continue receiving public assistance. Unfortunately, each assistance program had its own renewal form, and the process was plagued by complicated language and undelivered forms. As a result, many residents lost their benefits and the state spent about $25 million annually correcting errors.
Redesigning Michigan's Benefits Correspondence
The correspondence sent by Michigan to its residents containing benefits programs updates and action items continues to be too long, too vague, and too reliant on legal jargon. This prevents residents from getting the help they need and forces agency staff to spend time explaining the letters.