Medicaid has almost 3M unprocessed applications

Roughly 2.9 million people have signed up for Medicaid coverage but haven't been enrolled because the program hasn't processed their applications yet, according to a survey by CQ Roll Call.

The delays primarily have been caused by technical issues related to the health insurance exchange websites, combined with a surge in Medicaid applications, CQ Roll Call reported.

Three states--California, Illinois and North Carolina--have the longest backlogs. Almost 1.5 million people in those states still are waiting for their Medicaid applications to be processed.

California's delays stem from glitches that have prevented its state-run exchange from sending needed information to counties to process the applications. Meanwhile, much of the backlog in Illinois comes from the state's inability to accurately predict how many people would enroll.

Many of the states that enrolled Medicaid applicants through the federal exchange are also facing problems. is supposed to transfer data about potentially Medicaid-eligible consumers to states, but the website was using a format some states couldn't use, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Alaska, Kansas, Maine and Michigan, for example, still can't receive the applications Medicaid enrollees completed through

Officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services say they're working to help states process the applications by transferring data to any states that are equipped to handle the information.

"CMS is actively transferring accounts to all states that are ready to receive them," Aaron Albright, an agency spokesman, told CQ Roll Call. "In the meantime, every state not receiving transfers can be enrolling people through alternative options CMS has made available," he said.

To learn more:
- read the CQ Roll Call article