Back-to-School season is in full swing! Many school activities require that children are current on routine immunizations and have had a recent physical exam— services typically covered by health insurance. Additionally, children’s overall academic performance and ability to participate fully in school could be negatively affected if they do not receive preventive care. Students with poor health have a higher probability of school failure and dropout, but preventive care can help minimize lapses in learning due to missed school days from preventable illnesses. With health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), kids are better prepared to engage in and out of the classroom.
Back-to-School season is also a key time to catch up on care missed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the first 12 months of the pandemic, 41.3% of parents reported their youngest child missed a routine doctor visit, with missed care most prevalent among Hispanic children when compared to their peers. Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) offers an annual observance period that focuses on cultural highlights, achievements, and presents an opportunity to remind the community the importance of health coverage and care for Hispanic children. We encourage you to take a look at the Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign’s resources focused on multicultural outreach, in particular the resources available in Spanish, including social media content, posters, palm cards and more. Explore the Campaign’s outreach materials below for connecting communities to coverage.
Explore Key Resources
- Back-to-School partner initiative page: The Campaign’s Back-to-School Initiative page offers resources tailored for school-based outreach and partnering with schools to get kids covered during back-to-school season, like our Back-to-School Toolkit.
- Back-to-School July webinar: In case you missed it, our July webinar, “Back-to-School with Medicaid & CHIP: Ensuring Kids are Covered, Vaccinated and Ready to Learn,” provided an overview of Campaign initiatives and Back-to-School resources as well as presented relevant data on preventive care and vaccines. The recording and slides are now available – check it out!
- Spanish outreach resources: Our Outreach Tool Library features several free resources in multiple languages, including Spanish, made to help connect communities to health coverage.
Encourage Beneficiaries to Update Their Information Today
Not only is catching up on care and regular routine care important, but so is having and keeping health coverage. During the COVID-19 pandemic, CMS temporarily waived certain Medicaid and CHIP requirements, preventing people from losing their health coverage, as many people did not have to renew during this time. Once this temporary waiver is lifted, families with Medicaid and/or CHIP will need to renew their health coverage again annually. It is important to remind beneficiaries to update their contact information with their state Medicaid or CHIP office, so they don’t miss important reminders about renewals. Share the Medicaid.gov/renewals website widely in your community to ensure families stay covered and check out the Medicaid and CHIP Continuous Enrollment Unwinding toolkit. Monthly, CMS hosts a webinar to update on resources and next steps. To learn more, sign up for the upcoming webinar on October 26 at 12PM EST.
Learn about the Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), overseen by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), provides eligible low-income households with a subsidy of up to $30 per month to cover the cost of Internet service plans offered by participating providers and up to $75 per month for eligible households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. More information about the ACP can be found on: www.GetInternet.gov.
Current & Upcoming Observances:
- Newborn Screening Awareness Month (September)
- National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (September)
- Sports Eye Safety Month (September)
- Hispanic Heritage Month (9/15-10/15)
- Mental Health Awareness Week (10/2-10/8)
- Global Handwashing Day (10/15)
- National Health Education Week (10/17-10/21)
- International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (10/23-10/29)
- Bullying Prevention Month (October)
- Children’s Health Month (October)
- Down Syndrome Awareness Month (October)
- Health Literacy Month (October)
- Healthy Lung Month (October)
- National Dental Hygiene Month (October)
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.