Every Child Needs Health Insurance In July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services awarded $1.48 million to Think Kids for a three-year outreach and enrollment project through the Connecting Kids to Coverage HEALTHY KIDS 2022 program.  In West Virginia in 2019, 46.9% of the Mountain State’s children were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Georgetown University Center for Children and Families estimates that 3.5% of WV’s children did not have health insurance in 2019, representing an increase of 44% since 2016. For the next three years, Think Kids will work with a great group of partners to provide enrollment and renewal assistance to children and pregnant women in Medicaid and CHIP to shore up potential holes in the insurance safety net.  To do this, we use a three-prong strategy, supported by project staff and data management and technical support specialists:

We’re reaching out to large towns and rural places in WV to engage with young families, caregivers, pregnant people and professionals who care for kids. Visit our project website, Facebook page, and keep an eye out for pediatricians and stakeholders in your community sharing resources and support. 

Partners:

WV Statewide Afterschool Network

WV Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

The Manahan Group

To survive and thrive, all students need access to comprehensive, affordable health coverage. Unmet health and mental health needs can result in children falling behind academically. This is why we’re partnering with participating county school systems to train staff to help families enroll and re-enroll in Medicaid and CHIP. 

Partners:

Kanawha County Schools

Roane County School

We know that it takes a combination of broad and targeted outreach strategies to reach eligible families. Families/caregivers learn about Medicaid and CHIP through multiple avenues, including the staff in afterschool programs– trusted community partners. We know that having outreach materials and application forms available in plain language— sometimes in multiple languages— may reduce enrollment barriers. For those with limited reading proficiency, outreach coordinators are there to help. 

Partners: 

Boys & Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle

Partnership of African American Churches

Step by Step, Inc.

WVDHHR and WVPRC are invaluable partners that help us collect important data on enrollment numbers and provide technical support to outreach coordinators. 

Partners:

WVDHHR

WV Prevention Resource Center

If you’d like to learn more or get involved in the project, contact Kelli Caseman.

Updates

November 2022: We’re excited to have Roane County Schools to partner with the project. From left are: Michelle Ash, director of Student Support Services; school therapist Melinda Parkins; Spencer Elementary School Principal Eric Staats; Superintendent Richard Duncan; and school social worker Jessica Bailey. They’re part of a growing team working to make sure eligible children have health insurance coverage through Medicaid or CHIP to receive well-child visits, immunizations, eye and dental care, and a host of other services.

Sept 2, 2022- Press release: Medicaid and CHIP Programs to Begin “Unwinding” After Pandemic; Program Participants Will be Required to Renew Coverage

Connecting Kids to Coverage West Virginia is supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $ 1,480,345 with 100 percent funded by CMS/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CMS/HHS, or the U.S. Government.

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