"Out of the Box" Outreach Strategies to Enroll Eligible Children & Parents

October 8, 2015

Traditional, tried and true outreach strategies have been in Connecting Kids to Coverage toolboxes for a long time and they have helped to advance enrollment of eligible children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). But, the Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign is always looking "out of the box" for fresh ideas and promising approaches that can add new enthusiasm to our work and the work occurring in local communities. We canvassed our grantees and partners and, not surprisingly, we found lots of innovative ideas to share. Several of these "out of the box" outreach techniques being used by organizations from Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, and Rhode Island were featured in our most recent Campaign webinar. We hope these engaging presentations will provide a big boost to your Connecting Kids to Coverage efforts. View the webinar or explore other Campaign webinars.

Here are some of the "Out of the Box" strategies we highlighted. Many thanks to the organizations that shared their experiences with us and showed how creative thinking about community needs can boost the spirit and effectiveness of a local campaign!

Train All Staff to be on the Lookout for Uninsured Children

Health care providers interact with families when they come for health services. This is an important time to talk about health insurance and provide help with enrollment. Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation, a federally qualified health center in Whitesburg, Kentucky, trained all staff – not only designated application assistors, but administrative staff, billing staff, and receptionists – to recognize children who might be eligible Medicaid or CHIP and provide enrollment assistance.

Partner with the Juvenile Justice System

Children and parents who interact with the juvenile justice system may be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP coverage. The Chatham County Safety Net Planning Council in Savannah, Georgia, engaged families by including enrollment information throughout the juvenile court process. By setting up enrollment onsite at the local juvenile court house, the Council was able to reach a group of uninsured children and teens who were in great need of support for their health care needs. . To integrate enrollment throughout the process, the Council also worked with probation officers to develop a referral system for children released from the system.

Engage Municipal Resources

Many cities and counties have a variety of communication channels available for sharing important information with residents. Community access television, text alert systems, city message boards and more can be used to promote the availability of free and low-cost health coverage through Medicaid and CHIP, as well as where to find enrollment assistance locally. Encourage the community access television in your city or town to air the Connecting Kids to Coverage Public Service Announcements that are available in English and Spanish.

The Healthy Kids, Happy Families initiative in Garden City, Michigan spread the word about Medicaid and CHIP enrollment. The coalition engaged city resources in a range of ways. One of their most successful tactics was to place stickers with information on health insurance, along with their enrollment hotline number, on every city vehicle – from police cruisers to utility trucks.

3 Ways to Stay Connected with the National Campaign

  • Share our materials widely. We have an ever-growing range of excellent resources available to use in outreach and enrollment efforts.
  • Contact us to get more involved with the National Campaign at ConnectingKids@cms.hhs.gov.
  • Follow the Campaign on Twitter. Don't forget to re-tweet or share our messages with your network or use our #Enroll365 hashtag in your posts.

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