CMS Announces $32 Million to Increase Number of Children with Quality, Affordable Health Coverage

cms-logo-smallToday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will provide $32 million in awards to help 38 community organizations in 27 states enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as part of the Connecting Kids to Coverage campaign. These awards, provided by the bipartisan MACRA legislation, are designed to build on the historic progress already made increasing the number of children who have health coverage.

The Connecting Kids to Coverage outreach and enrollment awards will support targeted strategies needed to enroll eligible children who do not have health coverage, including application assistance and targeted outreach. Awardees include states, school districts, and local community organizations from across the country in areas where access to health coverage has been lagging, including among American Indians, children with learning disabilities, children living in rural communities, and teens.

“Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the rate of uninsurance for children has declined to its lowest levels on record. Fewer than 1 in 20 children are now uninsured,” said Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Today’s awards will accelerate efforts in communities across America to continue this progress and reach millions of children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but not yet enrolled.”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped increase the numbers of children who have access to quality, affordable coverage. According to the National Health Interview Survey, only 4.5 percent of children remained uninsured in 2015. In addition, a recent analysis of the American Community Survey found that 91 percent of eligible children are now enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, an increase of nearly 10 percentage points since 2008, according to the Urban Institute[1]. These researchers also found that health coverage increased all subgroups of children studied, including among all age groups and in all regions of the country in 2014.

CMS is also releasing data today showing an additional 1 million children were enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in 2015 as compared with 2014, and an informational bulletin that identifies tools all states can use to enroll and retain eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP.  This information will help all states build on the progress to date to increase the number of children with health coverage.

“Having coverage through Medicaid and CHIP improves children’s health, development, and ability to succeed in school,” said Vikki Wachino, CMS deputy administrator and director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.  “Today’s announcement means that more children will have access to coverage early in their lives, reducing financial burden on their families, and helping kids grow into healthy adults.”

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