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Acad Pediatr. 2012 Jul-Aug;12(4):297-301. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2012.04.008. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Reading level of Medicaid renewal applications.

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  • 1Division of Primary Care Pediatrics, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 11794-8111, USA. susmita.pati@stonybrook.edu



To examine compliance of Medicaid-renewal applications to established state guidelines for reading level of Medicaid-related materials.


We assessed the reading level of the 2008 Medicaid renewal applications by using 3 readability tests: Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Index, New Fog Count, and FORCAST.


In 2008, 45 states and the District of Columbia had reading level guidelines for Medicaid-related materials. Of these, 24 (52.2%) states' Medicaid renewal applications failed to meet their guidelines on all 3 readability tests; in particular, 41 states (89.1%) failed the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Index. Only one state's application had a Flesch-Kincaid score below a 5th-grade reading level.


As health care reform unfolds, complying with established reading level guidelines for Medicaid-related materials is one simplification strategy that should be implemented to improve access for Medicaid-eligible families and prevent eligible children from losing coverage unnecessarily.

Copyright © 2012 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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