Medicaid and CHIP Continue to Drive Down Uninsurance Among Children
The focus to enroll children in health coverage is now on! The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that $32 million will be used to support families by identifying children who may be eligible, assisting families with applications and renewals and educating others of free or low-cost health coverage options.
“Health coverage gives children access to the care they need to stay healthy and gives families the security of knowing their kids and household budgets are protected.” said Vikki Wachino, deputy administrator of CMS, and director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services. “By connecting eligible children to Medicaid and CHIP, these grants will help to ensure that children can more fully participate in childhood activities and are more prepared to succeed in school.”
Outreach efforts, as well as measures to simplify eligibility and enrollment, have helped spur Medicaid and CHIP enrollment, the driving force behind the reduction in the rate of uninsured children to 6 percent in 2014, an all-time low, according to a recent Georgetown University study.
The Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grant funds are provided under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015, continuing the program first funded in 2009 under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) and extended under the Affordable Care Act. To date, a total of approximately $126 million in grant funding has been awarded to help reduce the number of children who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP but are not enrolled. Today’s funding opportunity is the fourth cycle of this initiative and funding will be awarded as cooperative agreements to allow close collaboration between CMS and awardees.
A total of $32 million in federal funding over two years will be available. CMS expects to award approximately 30 Cycle IV cooperative agreements ranging in size from $250,000 to $1 million over a two-year period. State and local governments, Indian tribes and tribal organizations, certain health care provider organizations, nonprofit organizations including community and faith-based groups, and schools and school districts are eligible to apply. Applicants are asked to target populations likely to be eligible for Medicaid and CHIP, but generally less likely to be enrolled; examples of target populations include teens, Latino children and children in rural areas.
All proposals are due by January 20, 2016. For more information, including application requirements, please visit www.grants.gov.