As summer break winds down, families are preparing to send their children back to school for another year of learning. One way parents and caregivers can make this the best year yet is to ensure their children and teens have health insurance; data shows that children who have health insurance tend to perform better academically and are better equipped to fully participate in the classroom compared to those who are uninsured. With free or low-cost health coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), immunizations, routine check-ups, dental care, eye exams, and more are covered.
Medicaid and CHIP also offer comprehensive services that include mental and behavioral health care. According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 29 percent of high school students experienced poor mental health during the past 30 days – an all-time high over the last decade. Medicaid and CHIP provide coverage for the mental and behavioral health services necessary to prevent, diagnose, and treat a broad range of mental health symptoms and disorders, as well as substance use disorders. Left untreated, mental and behavioral health issues can severely impact a student’s performance in the classroom and cause lasting side-effects beyond learning.
The Campaign has specific tools and materials to support school-based outreach efforts. Our Back-to-School toolkit includes tips for partnering with school systems and educational programs to increase enrollment opportunities, as well as other materials you can use during the Back-to-School season. Palmcards, posters, digital videos, infographics, social media messages, newsletter blurbs, webinars, and more are available by visiting the Campaign’s Outreach Tool Library. Sharing these resources on social media or with other organizations in your community is a great way to help reach and encourage eligible families looking for coverage to enroll (and stay enrolled) in Medicaid and CHIP.
You can also promote Medicaid and CHIP’s benefits during Back-to-School season in your community on social media with these posts, which can also be tailored with information for your state:
- As your children prepare to head back into the classroom this fall, remember that routine check-ups, vaccinations, and emergency care are all covered under #Medicaid and #CHIP: https://bit.ly/3NmM4MG #Enroll365
- As kids head back to school, make sure they’re caught up with well-child visits and vaccinations. Health insurance with #Medicaid & #CHIP covers routine check-ups, immunizations, and other services to help kids stay healthy this school year. Enroll today: https://bit.ly/3NmM4MG
- Make sure to add keeping kids covered to your Back-to-School checklist! If you’ve received a renewal form in the mail for #Medicaid or #CHIP, make sure to fill it out ASAP to avoid a gap in coverage for your family. Learn more: https://bit.ly/42zSChY
Don’t Forget to Watch our Latest Webinar
This June, the Campaign hosted a Back-to-School webinar, “Back-to-School Planning: Enrollment, Retention, Vaccines, and Mental Health Services,” to discuss important topics to keep kids healthy throughout the upcoming school year. Check out the webinar recording and slides on InsureKidsNow.gov to learn more about the importance of immunizations, the integration of behavioral health services in schools, and how to help families maintain their coverage as states restart eligibility reviews.
Keep Families Covered: The End of the Continuous Enrollment Requirement
Many states have resumed their regular processes for renewing individuals’ Medicaid and CHIP coverage following the end of the continuous enrollment requirement. Now through April 2024, everyone is going to need to renew their Medicaid and CHIP coverage. It is critical that families are aware of the renewal process and what steps need to be taken to ensure they avoid a gap in coverage. Families can renew their coverage or begin the enrollment process by finding their state Medicaid agency here. Share the following steps with those already enrolled, to maintain coverage:
- Update your contact information – Make sure your state has your current mailing address, phone number, email, or other contact information. This way, they’ll be able to contact you about your family’s Medicaid or CHIP coverage.
- Check your mail – Your state will mail you a letter about your coverage. This letter will let you know if you need to complete a renewal form to see if you still qualify for Medicaid or CHIP.
- Complete your family’s renewal form (if you get one) – Fill out the form and return it to your state right away to help avoid a gap in coverage. Your children may still be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP even if you are not!
- If a family no longer qualifies for coverage, you can direct them to the Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov.
You can also learn more about Unwinding and how to help families stay covered by registering for the ongoing monthly webinar series focused on preparing for renewals. Medicaid and CHIP Renewals: What to Know and How to Prepare, A Partner Education Monthly Series, hosted by CMS, which provides stakeholders with information to prepare for Medicaid and CHIP renewals. The next webinar will be July 26 at 12 p.m. ET. Register here.
New Resources Available – Maternal Health
Did you know pregnant individuals are also eligible to receive free or low-cost health coverage with Medicaid and CHIP? Coverage includes a range of comprehensive services such as prenatal visits, postpartum care, and more. Many states have extended coverage to include the first 12 months of the postpartum period. When parents are enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, their children are automatically enrolled at birth. Spread the word in your community by sharing tailored resources for expecting families that highlight the benefits and services Medicaid and CHIP offer pregnant individuals. You can find new social media images and suggested language, posters, PSA scripts, maternal dental health tearpads, and videos on InsureKidsNow.gov.
CKC Healthy Kids AI/AN Grantee Launch Meeting
In June, CMS’ Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services and the Department of Tribal Affairs hosted the Connecting Kids to Coverage HEALTHY KIDS AI/AN 2023 Grantee Launch Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference provided an opportunity to connect directly with and learn from grantees who are working in their communities to help enroll American Indian and Alaska Native families in Medicaid and CHIP. Sessions focused on providing resources to support grantees in their outreach, including the latest on the unwinding of the continuous coverage requirement. To learn more about the newest grantees, visit InsureKidsNow.gov.
- National Immunization Awareness Month (August)
- Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month (August)
- National Women’s Day (August 9)
- National Son and Daughter Day (August 11)
- International Youth Day (August 12)
- Newborn Screening Awareness Month (September)
- National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month (September)
- Sports Eye Safety Month (September)
- Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15- October 15)
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.