U.S. Secretary of Education and Health and Human Services Pen Letter Urging State Medicaid Directors to Undertake Children’s Health Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Activities

On August 12, 2011 State Medicaid Directors received a letter from US. Sec. of Education Arne Duncan and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding the importance of outreach and enrollment assistance for children into Medicaid and CHIP.

These activities are directly supported with federal funds through the Medicaid Administrative Claiming program, showing a strong message of support for both the important role schools play in connecting children with health coverage and the reliance and effectiveness of a school based outreach and enrollment approach.

  1. “Schools play an essential role in reaching eligible children, from young children in preschool and Head Start to teens in high school. We urge you to undertake children’s health coverage outreach and enrollment activities when classes begin this fall.”
  2. “A forthcoming study by the Urban Institute indicates that outreach and enrollment efforts do increase the percentage of children who enroll in health coverage.  Between 2008 and 2009, the number of children eligible for Medicaid and CHIP increased by two to three million due to difficult economic times and state eligibility expansions.  Despite this increase in eligibility, in part due to outreach and enrollment efforts, the total number of eligible but uninsured children declined to 4.3 million in 2009, which was lower than the 4.7 million children found to be eligible but uninsured in 2008. The participation of children in Medicaid and CHIP increased from 82 percent in 2008 to 85 percent in 2009 nationally.”
  3. Connecting Kids to Coverage Challenge: This initiative, led by HHS, calls on leaders at every level of government and in the private sector to help enroll all eligible, uninsured children in Medicaid and CHIP and keep them covered for as long as they qualify. We urge you to join us and to encourage your schools to participate in this effort.”