SITKA – Children having high quality, affordable health coverage means they receive medical attention if they get sick or injured and the routine preventive care that keeps them healthy. Many families are aware that free and low-cost health insurance is available through Medicaid/Denali KidCare. Still, some parents are not aware their children are eligible, leaving a substantial number of children uninsured.
The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), aims at not only increasing parents’ awareness about Medicaid but also how to enroll their eligible children. Coverage includes regular check-ups, immunizations, doctor and dentist visits, hospital care, mental health services, prescriptions and more.
In an ongoing effort to ensure that as many Alaskans as possible receive the healthcare they need, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) applied for and was awarded a grant for $495,844 as part of CMS’s Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign.
The grant will allow SEARHC to increase outreach to make families aware of the availability of free or low-cost health coverage under Medicaid, identify children that are eligible and assist parents with the application or renewal process.
“By helping children obtain coverage to get healthy and stay healthy, we help ensure they can participate and succeed in school, extra-curricular activities, and life,” said Outreach and Enrollment Manager, Andrea Thomas.
To accomplish their outreach goals, SEARHC plans to hire additional staff; collaborate with Tribal organizations and schools; and establish a Consortium-wide enrollment, renewal, and data management tracking system. Outreach efforts will also include various media campaigns and one-on-one application assistance in Southeast Alaska communities.