HHS awards $969,185 to sign up children for health coverage

  • Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced nearly $32 million in grants last week for efforts to identify and enroll children eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grants were awarded to a total of 41 state agencies, community health centers, school-based organizations and non-profit groups in 22 states; two grantees are multistate organizations.
These awards include $969,185 to the South Carolina Office of Rural Health.
“Today’s grants will ensure that more children across the nation have access to the quality health care they need,” said Sebelius. “We are drawing from successful children’s health coverage outreach and enrollment efforts to help promote enrollment this fall in Medicaid and the new Health Insurance Marketplace.”
Efforts to streamline Medicaid and CHIP enrollment and renewal practices, combined with robust outreach activities, have helped reduce the number of uninsured children. Since 2008, 1.7 million children have gained coverage and the rate of uninsured children has dropped to 6.6 percent in 2012.
The South Carolina Office of Rural Health, through the Benefit Bank of South Carolina, will provide community training to explain the new application processes and coverage options available to families with children eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. 
Training will be tailored to groups such as medical providers, agency workers, faith-based organizations, re-entry programs, school personnel and businesses. Training will be available statewide via webinar and on-line.
Application assistance also will be part of the project. As a result of building its electronic submission system through a CHIPRA Cycle II technology grant, the tools and agreements are in place to move into educational outreach and to use new modes of providing direct assistance to individuals.
The Benefit Bank’s Contact Center will include access to referrals and resources, checks on pending applications and offer assistance with completing applications by phone.
These awards are part of the $140 million included in the Affordable Care Act and the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009 for enrollment and renewal outreach.
The grants will build on the Secretary’s Connecting Kids to Coverage Challenge to find and enroll all eligible children and support outreach strategies that have been shown to be successful.
Grant amounts range from $190,000 to $1 million. 
For a list of grantees, please visit: www.insurekidsnow.gov/

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