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Marketplace Open Enrollment: An Optimal Time to Also Promote Medicaid and CHIP

December 15, 2016

The 2017 Marketplace Open Enrollment Season is in full swing, with program enrollment ending in just over six weeks on January 31, 2017. With the combined efforts of Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) outreach and enrollment, the uninsured rate of U.S. children reached a historic low of 4.8% in 2014. But there is still much work to do to enroll those who are uninsured.

While Medicaid and CHIP enrollment is open year-round, the Marketplace Open Enrollment period is a key time when families may try to apply for Marketplace coverage and learn about their eligibility in Medicaid or CHIP. By strategically integrating Medicaid and CHIP information and messaging into Marketplace outreach, groups on the ground are finding that they can better identify and connect eligible, but unenrolled children who need health care coverage to vital services.

The Campaign's recent webinar featured organizations dedicated to enrolling families in health coverage. The panel examined unique ways of weaving in Medicaid and CHIP information into Marketplace Open Enrollment outreach and shared tools and resources to further streamline the enrollment process.

Campaign in Action

The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services shared key information and lessons learned over the years of Open Enrollment. Their resources include toll-free Call Centers, plan comparison tools, print, and web information. Families and individuals can also find someone nearby to help you apply to access personal help applying for health coverage. In-person help is available through several programs including the Navigator program to help families with the process of enrolling and using health insurance in up to 33 languages.

Millennials are another key demographic that has benefited from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and a group that can be overlooked during this crucial enrollment period. This group of young adults ages 18-34 have higher uninsured rates. Young Invincibles uses targeted approaches to reach millennials through digital outreach campaigns like #HealthyAdulting, local enrollment events, and train-the-trainer programs to engage partners on millennial outreach. Organizations can download their #HealthyAdulting Toolkit (PDF 1.09MB) for tutorials, workshops, and other digital resources and engage with Young Invincibles on activities. There are many ways to participate including volunteering, hosting an event, or simply spreading the word.

Enroll America is a national leader in connecting individuals and families to health care coverage. Enroll America works to identify the remaining uninsured groups, follows up, provides assistance, and also works on retention and renewal. Their free Get Covered Connector tool can be added to any organization's website and connects consumers and organizations with in-person application assistance by ZIP code, allows them to schedule an appointment online or by phone, manages schedules, sends reminders, and retains appointment data for reporting.

Community Catalyst's network of health advocates, policymakers, foundations and national, state, and local consumer organizations work together to get families and children affordable health care. Community Catalyst's project through a partnership with the National Health Law Program called In the Loop is a password protected, online community with over 4,000 members from all 50 states that was created for enrollment assisters to share their experiences, ask questions to one another and to policy expert staff members, trade best practices and have a resource library at their fingertips. In the Loop provides a space to share best practices, tips, and receive information from those in the field.

Consumers for Affordable Health Care Foundation's work to increase Medicaid and CHIP enrollment in Maine has given the state the distinction of being one of the top states for enrollment in the federally facilitated Marketplace. They engage a web of stakeholders in their outreach and enrollment process such as insurance agents and brokers, Navigators, Certified application counselors, and providers. These comprehensive outreach efforts have demonstrated positive results including an increased awareness of and enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP across the state.

Additional Resources

Tools for outreach and enrollment can be found in the Campaign's Outreach Tool Library, including social media images and messaging, fact sheets, palm cards and other materials for your Marketplace Open Enrollment outreach, as well as outreach throughout the year.

And don't forget to explore the Campaign webinar archive for additional ideas!

We want to hear your success story!

Share your Marketplace Open Enrollment best practices and success stories with the Campaign via email at or Twitter using #Enroll365 and #KidsEnroll in tweets. Be sure to include any tactics for highlighting Medicaid and CHIP in your Marketplace Open Enrollment activities you are currently planning or have used in recent years!

Stay Connected with the Campaign

  • Share our materials widely. We have an ever-growing Outreach Tool Library featuring resources to use in outreach and enrollment efforts, including materials in other languages.
  • Contact us to get more involved with the Campaign at
  • Follow the Campaign on Twitter. Don't forget to re-tweet or share our messages with your network or use our #Enroll365 and/or #KidsEnroll hashtags in your posts.

The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign Notes eNewsletter is distributed throughout the year and provides updates on Campaign activities. If a friend or colleague forwarded this email to you, sign up to receive this eNewsletter directly to your inbox.