Key Takeaways

  • NCOA is requesting proposals to determine the feasibility of large-scale changes to the way that older adults access and enroll in the public benefits for which they are entitled.

  • An informational webinar will be held November 18 at 3 pm ET to answer questions about the RFP.

  • Applications are due to NCOA by 5 pm ET on January 4, 2022.

NCOA is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) to determine the feasibility of large-scale changes to the way that older adults access and enroll in the public benefits for which they are entitled. This includes conceptualizing an automated “rules engine” that encompasses specifics for all public benefits including eligibility and requirements; what it would look like, where it would live, and whether such a tool is financially viable and has meaningful societal impact for older adults.

Background on the feasibility study

Public benefits programs are available to help low-income older adults meet their basic needs. Benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs), and Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) are available to help older adults afford food, healthcare costs and premiums, and prescription medicines. The participation rate in many of these programs is low, with many eligible older adults missing out on these critical benefits. Among the reasons for low participation rates, navigating the application process is complex and cumbersome. Likewise, the eligibility rules are often challenging to understand and vary from state to state.  

To support federal and state efforts to streamline benefits eligibility systems to ensure more enrollment of older adults, NCOA, under a cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) to operate the National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment (NCBOE), is requesting proposals to conduct this research. Among the outcomes of the study will be the ability to determine the potential capability and feasibility to streamline the eligibility determination, application, and enrollment processes through an end-to-end digital solution.  

Specifically, to determine the feasibility of a single digital solution and to determine if such a tool is financially viable and has meaningful societal impact for older adults, the vendor will: 

  1. Explore how to bridge all systems (federal, state, and local) to each other to achieve the goal of streamlined automated eligibility assessment and enrollment;
  2. Determine the technical requirements to develop a seamless end-to-end enrollment process and solution. This includes conceptualizing an automated “rules engine” that encompasses specifics for all public benefits including eligibility and requirements; what it would look like, where it would live, and what are the costs and benefits for doing so;
  3. Examine how to collect all the needed information from consumers with a single front-end data collection source that is easy to use, complete, and that would ultimately lead to a bridge to automate enrollment; and,
  4. Consider what policy implications and levers (federal, state, and local) are necessary for this seamless data collection, eligibility determination, and enrollment solution. Additionally, the assessment should take into consideration potential governmental efforts around a streamlined process for eligibility to enroll in benefits.

Eligibility

Research and consulting and government service firms are eligible to apply. Please consult the full RFP at the bottom of this page to read about the preferred qualifications, experience, and capabilities of applicants.

Timeline

NCOA expects the feasibility study to take 10-11 months. The study will begin with a kick-off meeting in February 2022 and be completed with a final report delivered to NCOA in December 2022. 

Applications are due by 5:00 pm ET on January 4, 2022.

Additional information

NCOA will host an optional webinar to review the opportunity, answer questions, and provide clarifications on November 18, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. ET.  The webinar will be recorded and shared upon request. (Consult RFP for log-in information.)

Applicants may submit questions at any time to Dr. Lauren Popham at lauren.popham@ncoa.org.  To receive webinar log-in information, please email Dr. Popham.