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Outreach Strategies in the State Children's Health Insurance Program

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Publication Date: June 1998

Publisher(s): Families USA

Topic: Health (Health services for children)

Type: Report


What is outreach, and why is it important?

Participation rates in expanded Medicaid programs and state-funded programs for children suggest that states need to do a better job getting the word out to working families that a public health insurance program exists for their children. Expanding eligibility is not enough to ensure coverage. Aggressive outreach efforts are needed as well. Advocates have a vital role to play in urging states to make new children's health insurance programs (CHIPs) and existing Medicaid programs more family-friendly.CHIP defines outreach as activities to inform families of available coverage programs and to assist them in enrolling. Each state submitting a CHIP plan must describe how it will accomplish outreach to eligible families. CHIP funds can be used to assist children in enrolling in any public or private health coverage program. This means outreach services reimbursed by CHIP can also benefit undocumented children and other children not eligible for insurance coverage through CHIP.