New Three-Year Initiative Announced to Help Cities Expand Children’s Access to Health Insurance

The National League of Cities (NLC) announces the start of a new, three-year initiative to help municipal leaders increase children's access to health insurance coverage. The Cities Expanding Children's Access to Health Care project will be launched with a $3.25 million grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies and is aimed at strengthening the capacity of city leaders to maximize children's participation in public health insurance programs. The effort is part of The Atlantic Philanthropies KidsWell Initiative and will be carried out by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families.

Through the initiative, NLC will provide in-depth technical assistance to city leaders and other key local partners as they develop data-driven action plans for maximizing youth participation in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Competitively selected cities will also have the opportunity to receive pass-through funding for their efforts to boost children's enrollment in these vital programs.

The project will help cities address some of the greatest barriers to enrolling uninsured children in public health insurance-lack of awareness and complicated application and renewal processes- with efforts at the local level to identify eligible families, educate parents, and connect them to affordable coverage options.

"Cities have a major stake in the health of their communities. There are currently 7 million uninsured children in the U.S. who are at risk of receiving inadequate medical care and experiencing poor health outcomes," said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, AZ. "This new initiative seeks to combat this inequity, and NLC looks forward to helping city
leaders increase children's access to health insurance coverage."

As part of the initiative, two regional leadership academies will be held this summer to provide training and peer learning opportunities to up to 20 city teams. From the group of 20, a smaller subset of city teams will then be selected to receive more intensive technical assistance and up to $30,000 in grant funding for the development of strategic plans for increasing children's enrollment in health insurance. In the spring of 2014, NLC will then select up to six of these teams to receive continued assistance and grants for the implementation of their plans, with the average grant size of $260,000 per city over two years.

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, a special entity within the National League of Cities, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities.

The Atlantic Philanthropies are dedicated to bringing about lasting changes in the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people. Atlantic is a limited life foundation that makes grants through its five programme areas: Ageing, Children & Youth, Population Health, Reconciliation & Human Rights, and Founding Chairman. Atlantic is active in Australia (final grants made in 2011), Bermuda, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, the United States and Viet Nam. To learn more, please visit: