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Equitable Outreach – Resources to Help Families Overcome Barriers to Health Coverage

Equitable Outreach – Resources to Help Families Overcome Barriers to Health Coverage

Families who are of racial or ethnic minority populations often face barriers to health coverage, such as limited English proficiency, low health literacy, mixed immigration status within the household, and limited access to enrollment assistance or culturally and linguistically appropriate services. For example, Hispanic children have more than twice the uninsurance rate than their white peers, which puts them at risk for missing out on preventive care, such as immunizations, well-child visits, dental care, and more. Having health insurance and keeping up with these routine medical visits can help kids stay healthy and lead to better developmental outcomes, educational gains, and long-term economic well-being. 

In addition to barriers children may face in obtaining health coverage, children from racial and ethnic minority groups and children from low-income households often face other social determinants of health and disparities, such as higher blood lead levels. Higher blood lead levels are more prevalent among children from racial and ethnic minority groups and children from low-income households. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) cover blood lead screening tests for children. During April’s National Minority Health Month, and year-round, you can get more information here to share in your community: CDC - Blood Lead Levels in Children

Medicaid and CHIP provide children access to comprehensive health coverage, including annual check-ups, routine vaccinations, mental and behavioral health services, dental care, and more. Families can enroll throughout the year. We encourage you to utilize our ready-made materials in your ongoing outreach efforts:

•    Check out our resources for immigrant families: The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign has released a fact sheet, available in 24 languages, highlighting important information for immigrant families to know when enrolling in Medicaid and CHIP. 

•    Spread the word with ready-to-use materials: The Campaign has developed outreach tools — featuring customizable newsletter and article templates, infographics, social media posts, and more! 

•    Explore American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) behavioral health resources: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Division of Tribal Affairs (DTA) has launched a behavioral health website to help tribal communities access culturally sensitive mental health and substance use disorder services — featuring an interactive behavioral health service locator, appointment preparation resources, and more.

While April’s National Minority Health Month is a key time to conduct outreach to connect families to Medicaid and CHIP, we appreciate your support to ensure all eligible families have access to health care year-round.

Register Now for 5/4 Webinar! – “Prioritizing Childhood Mental Health: Encouraging Use of Mental and Behavioral Health Benefits Covered Under Medicaid and CHIP”

The Campaign is hosting a webinar on May 4, 2022 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. EST, featuring new data on the impact of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) on youth mental health, strategies for improving access to and use of mental and behavioral health services, resources for suicide prevention, practices to support youth mental health, and Campaign resources available on InsureKidsNow.gov for organizations to use in their outreach, especially during May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month. Register today

Preparing for the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

CMS is committed to ensuring access to comprehensive health care coverage by providing partners with guidance and resources as they plan for the eventual end of the COVID-19 PHE and the Medicaid continuous coverage condition established under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has committed that it will provide states with 60 days of notice before any planned expiration or termination of the PHE to give states as much lead time as possible. In line with that commitment, CMS will be communicating early and often with states and other partners to support planning and coordination of this unwinding process.  This communication is a part of ongoing outreach. The current expiration date is July 15, 2022.

Key Resources: CMS created an Unwinding homepage with tools and resources. 

  • On this page, you can find the Communications Toolkit and graphics to help partners begin reaching out to Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries so that they are prepared for upcoming renewals, along with several other unwinding resources. 
  • The toolkit and graphics are available in both English and Spanish.

Current & Upcoming Observances:

  • Every Kid Healthy Week (4/25 – 4/29)
  • National Infant Immunization Week (4/25 – 5/2)
  • National Minority Health Month (April)
  • National Mental Health Awareness Month (May)
  • National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month (May)
  • National Healthy Vision Month (May)
  • Safety & Health Week (5/1-5/7) 
  • Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week (5/1-5/7)
  • World Asthma Day (5/3)

Stay Connected with the Campaign

  • Share our Campaign materials. Our ever-growing, multi-lingual Outreach Tool Library features a variety of targeted resources to use in your outreach and enrollment efforts, available in multiple formats.
  • Contact us. To get more involved with the Campaign, contact us via email at ConnectingKids@cms.hhs.gov.
  • Follow the Campaign on Twitter. Remember to re-tweet or share our messages from @IKNGov with your social network and be sure to use our #Enroll365 and #KidsEnroll hashtags in your posts.

Subscribe to the “Campaign Notes” eNewsletter

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