Bolster Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment With These Grants
By Joey Berlin

Organizations interested in increasing access to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) coverage can apply for up to $1.5 million each after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  announced on Jan. 27 that it was committing more than $49 million in federal grants to the Biden administration’s effort to “fund organizations that can connect more eligible children, parents, and pregnant individuals to health care coverage.”

“[S]tate/local governments, tribal organizations, federal health safety net organizations, non-profits, schools, and others” are eligible for the funding, which would be distributed over a three-year period. According to CMS, applicants are encouraged to consider activities that include:

  • Engaging schools and other programs serving young people;
  • Targeting communities with low health coverage rates to bridge racial and demographic coverage disparities;
  • Developing application assistance resources for enrollment and renewal;
  • Using social media for virtual outreach and enrollment assistance; and
  • Using parent mentors and community health workers to help families enroll in Medicaid and CHIP, as well as to assist with retaining coverage and to address social determinants of health.

CMS said the funding is vital to make sure children have coverage, pointing to studies showing that of the approximately 4 million children who are uninsured, 2.3 million are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. But parents and parents-to-be are also part of the focus.

"Because Medicaid and CHIP coverage is a key step in ensuring access to necessary prenatal care and healthy birth outcomes, this funding opportunity is including pregnant individuals as a new target population,” CMS said. “Expanding the outreach target population to include pregnant individuals will also directly lead to increased enrollment of eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP; generally, the infants born to individuals who are enrolled in these programs at the time of birth are automatically deemed eligible for Medicaid and CHIP for one year."

The agency said disparities are particularly pronounced among specific groups: American Indian and Alaska Native children are uninsured at the highest rate (11.8%), followed by Hispanic children (11.4%) and non-Hispanic Black children (5.9%).

CMS is accepting applications for the grants through March 28. An application link and more information are available on the grant notice page (the full Notice of Funding Opportunity is available in a zip file in the Related Documents tab).

Last Updated On

April 05, 2022

Originally Published On

February 01, 2022

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