By Robert Kidney
Last Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the much anticipated CHIPRA-funded Cycle II Outreach and Enrollment grants. 39 state agencies, community health centers, school-based organizations, primary care associations and other non-profit groups in 23 states received funding totaling $40 million. The grants build on Secretary Sebelius’ Connecting Kids to Coverage Challenge to find and enroll all eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP and support outreach strategies that have proven successful. Grants were made in five focus areas:
1. Using technology to facilitate enrollment and renewal (approximately $20 million to ten grantees)
2. Retaining eligible children in coverage (approximately $3 million to four grantees)
3. Engaging schools in outreach, enrollment and renewal activities (approximately $5 million to seven grantees)
4. Reaching children who are most likely to experience gaps in coverage (approximately $10 million to fourteen grantees)
5. Ensuring eligible teens are enrolled and stay covered (approximately $3 million to four grantees).
Grant amounts range from $200,000 to $2.5 million with the largest grants going to the technology focus area. For a list of grantees, please visit: http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/professionals/reports/chipra/CHIPRA-Cycle-II-Grant-Summaries.pdf
The latest CHIPRA outreach grant announcement follows the August 12, 2011 release of a joint letter from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to the nation’s governors urging them to encourage schools to “undertake children’s health coverage outreach and enrollment activities when classes begin this fall.” The letter suggests promising strategies such as enlisting school athletic coaches to help promote enrollment. HHS is supporting such efforts by providing a strategy guide to states, schools, community groups, and other stakeholders as part of the “Get Covered, Get in the Game” initiative the agency conducted in 2010 with CHIPRA funding.
NACHC’s State Affairs Department recently published an issue brief titled “Reaching and Enrolling Kids and Families” that highlights several health center and primary care association activitites.
For additional resources, check out our new Outreach and Enrollment webpage!