CMS Commits Over $49 Million to Reduce Uninsured Rate Among Children and Boost Medicaid Enrollment Among Parents, and Pregnant People

On January 27, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will commit $49.4 million in cooperative agreements in an effort to fund organizations that can connect more eligible children, parents, and pregnant individuals to health care coverage through Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Eligible awardees include state and local governments, tribal organizations, federal health safety net organizations, and non-profits, as well as schools and other organizations. Each awardee may receive $500,000 up to an anticipated $1,500,000 over a three-year award period.  Awardees must use the funding to reduce the number of uninsured and advance Medicaid and CHIP enrollment and retention. Application proposals are due on March 28, 2022.  The anticipated award issuance date for these awards is July 1, 2022.

Background

The Connecting Kids to Coverage HEALTHY KIDS 2022 Outreach and Enrollment Cooperative Agreements provide funding opportunities to reduce the number of children who are eligible for, but not enrolled in, CHIP and to improve retention of eligible children who are enrolled.  According to CMS, the rate of uninsured children increased to 5.2 percent in 2019, meaning that around 4 million children are uninsured.  In addition, Medicaid and CHIP participation rates have declined, indicating that a greater proportion of eligible children are not accessing the health benefits that Medicaid and CHIP provide.  CMS estimates that among the 4 million uninsured children, 2.3 million children are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP and CMS further estimates that AI/AN children continue to experience the highest uninsured rate at 11.8 percent.

Funded organizations will provide enrollment and renewal assistance to children and their families, as well as pregnant people—a new optional target population in this year’s award announcement.  Applicants will be encouraged to consider a range of activities, including:

  • Engaging schools and other programs serving young people;
  • Bridging racial and demographic health coverage disparities by targeting communities with low coverage rates;
  • Establishing and developing application assistance resources to provide high-quality, reliable enrollment and renewal services in local communities;
  • Using social media to conduct virtual outreach and enrollment assistance; and
  • Using parent mentors and community health workers to assist families with enrolling in Medicaid and CHIP, retaining coverage, and addressing social determinants of health.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit their application electronically through the grants.gov website.  The following forms must be completed with an electronic signature and enclosed as part of the application:

  1. Project Abstract Summary
  2. SF-424: Official Application for Federal Assistance
  3. SF-LLL: Disclosure of Lobbying Activities
  4. Project Site Location Form(s)

In addition, Applicant’s must provide the following information with their application

  1. Application cover letter or cover page (optional)
  2. Project Narrative
  3. Data Collection and Reporting Plan
  4. Work Plan and Timeline
  5. Budget Narrative
  6. Evaluation Plan
  7. Staffing Plan
  8. Business assessment of applicant organization

All applications must be submitted electronically and be received through www.grants.gov by 3:00 pm, Eastern Time, on March 28, 2022.  More information on this funding opportunity as well as application materials, can be found  here.

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