June 23, 2017
Parents get their children ready for the new school year throughout summer break, but a big push often occurs over the final weeks before school officially starts. This is when school supplies get purchased and paperwork is completed. It's also a time when health coverage is top of mind – immunizations and sports physicals grace many family to-do lists. Back-to-School season is a key time to engage with parents about getting their eligible children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Children who have health insurance miss fewer classes and perform better in school than those who are uninsured. Because of this connection between academic performance and health care, schools and organizations that work with students are important partners for successful school-based outreach. By developing and strengthening these connections during the Back-to-School season, you can build an A+ support team to enroll more students in free or low-cost insurance and build a foundation for a successful and healthy school year!
The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign's recent webinar featured tips and resources from organizations engaging in Back-to-School outreach and enrollment activities to connect eligible children to Medicaid and CHIP coverage during this key time of year.
Campaign in Action
The School Superintendents Association (AASA) works in seven regions across the nation, and their state-based affiliates enable them to reach every school district in the country. In partnership with the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), they collaborated with 15 school districts with the largest number of uninsured children to identify and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP. AASA's Insure All Children Toolkit was developed using best practices for engaging families in a variety of settings and provides a framework for connecting children to coverage along with materials to plan and execute school-based outreach and enrollment.
School nurses play a central role in maintaining the health of students, including identifying eligible children and families and connecting them to coverage. The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) provides tools and support to school nurses to improve the health of children by providing direct care and assisting families with getting health coverage. As trusted members of the community with access to families, school nurses can start the conversation about health coverage with families, connect them with enrollment assistors, and provide re-enrollment information. In addition to resources for families about accessing health insurance, NASN's Better Health. Better Learning. Back-to-School e-Toolkit contains customizable advocacy materials to educate and build support from local governments, school leaders, and the community.
The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign's School-Based Outreach and Enrollment Toolkit has everything your organization needs for Back-to-School planning. This resource covers partnering with schools, tips for connecting with members of the school community like superintendents and school counselors, and strategies for including enrollment into existing school processes. The Toolkit features ready-to-use materials like message guides, templates, resource links, and offers social media graphics for Facebook and Twitter.
The Latest Campaign PSAs are Live!
The "Covered/Cubiertos" television and radio PSAs are available in both English and Spanish. Parents can breathe easier knowing their child or teen can enroll in free or low-cost health care through Medicaid and CHIP. We encourage you to view the PSAs and share them with your partners to spread the word. The Campaign also has a tip sheet offering additional ideas for using the PSAs in outreach.
We want to hear your success story!
Have you had success enrolling eligible students in Medicaid and CHIP during Back-to-School season? We'd like to learn how your organization is connecting kids to coverage. And if you're using the Campaign's Back-to-School materials in your community, let us know! Be sure to include any tactics for outreach and enrollment during Back-to-School season that you are planning or have used in recent years. Share details with the Campaign via email at ConnectingKids@cms.hhs.gov or Twitter using #Enroll365, and #KidsEnroll in tweets.
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 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 and/or #KidsEnroll hashtags in your posts.
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