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We believe eligibility and enrollment can be faster, easier, and less expensive.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Code for America, and Nava have formed the Benefits Partnership to build new human-centered approaches to benefits programs. We’ve already begun field research and prototyping, and are selecting a small cohort of pilot states to find ways we can help. If you’d like to learn more, please get in touch.

Our social safety net needs help

Our government provides over 80 means-tested programs for over 100 million people in this country, and spends over 700 billion dollars each year to run them. This constellation of services and programs is our social safety net, but it’s not much of a net at all – it’s an obstacle course where often the more help you need, the harder it gets.

Towards a more human-centered safety net

Millions of people qualify for more than one public benefit or service, and yet the paths to enrolling are fragmented and complex. 26.9 million children – over a third of all children in the country – were eligible in 2013 for both Medicaid and SNAP. A lot of lives are on the line, and we can do more to help simplify the experience. A more human-centered safety net looks like less redundant forms, more streamlined service delivery, and less stress around maintaining enrollment in these critical services.

Giving agencies extra capacity for R&D

Even if state agency leaders know that there are better ways forward, people often feel like they have their hands tied by legacy systems, complex requirements, or shifting eligibility logic. Our goal is to build the gold standard for eligibility and enrollment, working with states on the ground to understand their needs and build tools and services that help them modernize their systems and serve their residents.

System churn keeps us up at night. — State program leadership

Helping the frontline workers

Though we believe technology can help, our public services have a human face – the thousands of frontline caseworkers feel the struggle as well.

I can't tell you how many applications we have. We don't have any time to run reports. — Program Director

We’re doing research on the ground in field offices around the country to better understand the realities of delivering these critical services, and the challenges and opportunities that exist.

Partnering with the best

CMS is a forward-thinking government agency that has already embraced modern best practices such as agile development and human-centered design. We’ve been working with CMS on redesigning HealthCare.gov, MyMedicare.gov, and leading Medicare’s MIPS infrastructure, and are excited to extend our partnership to the state level.

CMS - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid

Code for America is a lighthouse in the civic technology community, and has partnered with dozens of cities across the country to improve people’s lives and their relationships with city agencies. They’ve also pioneered work in California by building GetCalFresh, a fast and simple tool to enroll in SNAP, that is now rolling out across the state.

Code for America

Strategic field research

As a part of our partnership, Nava is offering states pro-bono strategic field research to help agency leaders dig deep into the programs they manage, uncover new opportunities, surface the challenges that caseworkers face, and identify the evidence-based paths forward to impactful modernization. For other agencies interested in this sort of standalone field research, learn more here.

Pilot states

The first pilot state in this cohort is Michigan, and work is already underway. We started with field research and have begun building prototype applications for MDHHS that will help Michiganders enroll in SNAP in a more streamlined way. We’re partnering with Civilla, a local organization that’s been working on simplifying the SNAP application process for years.

What could you achieve tomorrow with free support from industry leading organizations?

We're interested in prototyping new approaches across the eligibility and enrollment landscape, from the analytics that drive program decisions and technologies to support faster determinations to new tools to assist caseworkers and residents. To get in touch about being a part of our nationwide research or to be considered for pilot state selection, please email us.

Get in touch