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Covering Kids & Families Case Study of Illinois: Exploring Links Between Policy, Practice and the Trends in New Medicaid/SCHIP Enrollments

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This report assesses the impact of the Covering Kids & Families (CKF) program that was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 46 states with 152 grantees.

The program had two goals: to reduce the number of uninsured children and adults eligible for health coverage, and to sustain those reductions after CKF ended. This analysis focuses on the state of Illinois from 1999 through to 2005. Data were collected from the Medicaid Statistical Information System and obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Key Findings

* Despite budget shortfalls, Illinois state officials continued to build on previous health care expansions.
* Illinois experienced State Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicaid enrollment increases that were among the highest in the nation.
* Interviewees agreed that a key complement to CKF's public relations investment was targeted outreach.
* Simplification of income verification requirements was considered one of the most significant policy changes.

Illinois is widely recognized as a leader in providing health care for children. With the launch of All Kids in 2006, the state became the first to adopt a universal coverage program for children and is now a model for other states seeking similar changes.