FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 24, 2016) — On Feb. 29, Kentucky initiated a statewide rollout of a new computerized benefits system. The system, known as benefind, is the fifth and final release phase of the kynect system, which was designed and developed by the prior administration. Benefind is an application hub that brings together all programs administered by the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and the Department for Medicaid Services onto one platform. Through benefind, customers can renew benefits, check benefit amounts, report changes, upload verification documents, check claim status, make claim payments and receive electronic notices.
The launch of benefind is not related to the transition away from kynect to healthcare.gov. Since 2012, more than $101.5 million was spent by the previous administration to design and build this system. When the Bevin administration assumed office, officials were assured that the system had been adequately beta tested and sufficient training had been conducted. However, since going live on Feb. 29, staff have identified a number of issues that have combined to slow processing times for staff and this has resulted in longer waits at DCBS offices and a higher than normal call volume to DCBS call centers.
“Like rollouts of many large I.T. systems, unforeseen technical issues have been encountered,” said Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. “The technology vendor has made more than 60 program changes to address system problems we have identified. We have added trainers to our field offices to help staff navigate the system. We have added staff to assist in the direct processing of claims and to answer inquiries at our call centers. We recognize the inconvenience this has caused, and are taking all necessary steps to prevent our served population from losing any benefit because of the transition.”
CHFS leadership, technology consultants, and DCBS field staff continue to work to expeditiously address system issues. Appropriate system implementation is a top priority.
“We appreciate the tremendous support we have had, from our top leadership to our front lines, in working through these initial challenges,” said DCBS Commissioner Adria Johnson.
“A special thank you to our dedicated field staff for their hard work and to our clients for their patience as we make this transition,” concluded Secretary Glisson.
The public is encouraged to use the self-service portal to ease the time required at the processing centers. Log onto benefind at https://benefind.ky.gov/.
Customers can still apply for services by phone, by visiting their local DCBS office or submitting paper applications. Contact the DCBS Family Support Call Center at 1-855-306-8959.