NLC Announces Planning Grant Awards to Twelve Cities for Health Benefit Outreach Campaigns

November 25, 2013

By Chuan Teng

NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families has awarded planning grants to 12 cities to help develop outreach campaigns aimed at enrolling eligible children and families in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Approximately 70 percent of the nation's uninsured children are currently qualified but not enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, the nation's two most important public health insurance programs for working and low-income families. These programs provide health insurance to over 43 million children nationwide, including half of all low-income children in the United States. Children and families enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP have access to benefits such as inpatient and outpatient hospital services, low- or no-cost screening and preventative services and prescription drugs.

Cities increasingly recognize the value of connecting children and families to Medicaid and CHIP. When children have health insurance, they enjoy better health throughout childhood, spend more time in school, demonstrate greater academic performance and are less reliant on emergency health care services. Parents also take less time off from work to care for sick children when their children are insured, which results in fewer lost wages for families.

As part of NLC’s Cities Expanding Health Care Access for Children and Families initiative, funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies, cities will receive up to $30,000 in funding and technical assistance during a six-month planning period (November 2013 to May 2014). During the planning process, grantees will develop formal business plans that will serve as blueprints for implementation of city-led outreach campaigns to increase Medicaid and CHIP enrollment.  

Selected cities include:

  •  Aurora, Colo.
  • Columbia, Pa.
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Garden City, Mich.
  • Hattiesburg, Miss.
  • Houston, Texas
  • Jacksonville, Fla.
  • New Bedford, Mass.
  • Omaha, Neb.
  • Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Providence, R.I.
  • Savannah, Ga.

These cities were competitively selected for planning grants through an invitation-only request for proposal process. Only cities that participated in one of NLC’s Cities Expanding Health Access for Children and Families Leadership Academies were invited to submit planning grant proposals. Leadership academy participants gained resources, training, and peer-learning opportunities on how to develop data-driven and broad-based health benefit outreach campaigns.

Selected Cities Eligible for Additional Pass-Through Grants and Technical Assistance
The 12 cities that will receive planning grants will be eligible for additional funding and technical assistance during the final implementation phase of the initiative. Of the 12 cities selected for planning grants, six cities will be chosen later in 2014 to receive up to $260,000 over two years and ongoing technical assistance from NLC for outreach campaign implementation.

The value in connecting children and families to health insurance is clear, and cities are well-positioned to make that connection. Mayors and other municipal officials have an intimate awareness of community needs and values, which is critical to effectively reaching the uninsured and communicating the availability of health insurance. By playing an active role in connecting children and families with health insurance, cities help foster a healthy community, strong workforce, and vibrant local economy.

For more information on the Cities Expanding Access to Health Care for Children and Families project, contact Chuan Teng at (202) 626-3041 or teng@nlc.org or Dawn Schluckebier at (202) 626-3040 or schluckebier@nlc.org.