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Engaging Local Municipalities in Medicaid and CHIP Outreach

July 24, 2017

City leaders and their agencies can play a key role in improving the health and wellbeing of children and families in their communities. Many local organizations conducting Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) outreach are finding success by collaborating with municipalities to connect with and enroll eligible children in these programs. Their combined efforts have not only increased access to vital health care benefits for those who need it, they have led to positive on-going community partnerships.

The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign's recent webinar featured tips and resources from organizations that have worked with local municipalities. You’ll find additional information below about how they have built teams with the goal of enrolling eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP.

The Campaign team sincerely apologizes for the technical issues some encountered with the June 20 webinar. We are working to ensure our next webinar, to be held in the fall, runs smoothly.

Campaign in Action

The National League of Cities (NLC) works to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance. NLC's "Cities Expanding Health Access for Children and Families" (CEHACF) initiative provided cities and local organizations with assistance in developing outreach campaigns to increase health coverage for children and families in eight communities. The successes, creative strategies, and lessons learned from the project cities are highlighted in their newly released Municipal Action Guide (PDF 1.52MB).

One example of an effective city-led outreach and enrollment initiative is the partnership between the City of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). As a CEHACF grantee, USM created the E3 (Educate-Enroll-Empower) Health Initiative. E3 modeled how to build and grow a partnership between a local university and government agencies. This collaboration reduced the number of uninsured families and children not only in their city, but also across the state. You can see this work in action in the latest Campaign outreach video.

Georgia's Coastal Campaign for Healthy Kids built its program foundation from their work with NLC and then expanded their outreach and enrollment efforts through their role as a "Connecting Kids to Coverage" grantee. Their program engaged the City of Savannah, Chatham County government agencies, and public schools to create a wide reaching referral to enrollment system. With this strong network of partners, they developed a "mobile" enrollment system. Using an existing city agency waiver form, this process allows them to start applications with families and complete them with other documentation via text and email.

New Campaign Resources

The new Campaign TV and radio PSAs are live! The "Covered/Cubiertos" television and radio PSAs are available in both English and Spanish. The PSAs speak directly to parents and highlight that quality health coverage is available for kids through Medicaid and CHIP. For ideas on how to share the PSAs, use the "10 Tips for Putting Public Service Announcements to Work" to help spread the word.

In addition to the Hattiesburg outreach video, the Campaign partnered with NLC to create a "5 Things Cities Can Do" tip sheet. This resource shares easy-to-implement ideas on how cities can partner with community organizations to get more members of their community enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP.

Back-to-School Resources Available

Back-to-School planning is underway! The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign's School-Based Outreach and Enrollment Toolkit has everything your organization needs for effective planning and outreach. The Toolkit includes resources for partnering with schools, tips for connecting with members of the school community, like superintendents and counselors, and strategies for including enrollment into existing school activities. The Toolkit features ready-to-use materials like message guides, templates, resource links, and offers social media graphics for Facebook and Twitter. Visit InsureKidsNow.gov for additional Back-to-School resources.

We want to hear your success story!

Have you collaborated with city leaders or other local government partners in Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment work? We'd like to learn how your organization is connecting kids to coverage! And if you’re using Campaign or NLC city outreach resources, let us know! Share details with the Campaign via email at connectingkids@cms.hhs.gov or Twitter using #Enroll365, and #KidsEnroll in tweets.