Top your list of New Year’s resolutions with a plan to ramp up efforts to reach out and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Be sure to let families know that children and parents can enroll in Medicaid and CHIP at any time during the year.
Here are some ideas to kick start Medicaid and CHIP outreach efforts in the New Year:
1. Share information at free family-friendly New Year’s Eve events. More and more, communities across the country are hosting “First Night” events to engage families in fun-filled ways to welcome in the New Year. See if there are events planned in your area or check the “community calendar” page of your local newspaper to see if other festivities are occurring. Arrange to provide Connecting Kids to Coverage materials where buttons or tickets are distributed. Place posters in high traffic areas, set up an information table and ask organizers to play the “Hands Full” TV or radio PSA at the event.
2. Capitalize on the New Year’s “Fitness Focus.” Families are thinking about ways to start the New Year off on the right foot. Parents are looking for ways to ensure their family eats a healthier diet and exercises regularly. Help them take an extra step toward good health by signing up for health coverage. Work with your local YMCA or other community organizations that may be offering fitness classes or recreational programs for free or at reduced rates for low-income families. Consider ways to link registration with sign-ups for Medicaid, CHIP or other health coverage opportunities. Provide Connecting Kids to Coverage materials to on-site child care centers or post in locker rooms or lounge areas.
3. Connect with families exploring educational opportunities. In the New Year, adult family members may be thinking about gaining new job skills or pursuing a college degree. Spring courses at community colleges and adult learning programs often begin in January. Provide materials about free or low-cost health insurance at class registration, in welcome packet mailings or at a table where students get orientation information at the start of the semester. Enlist the college or other educational institution in outreach efforts by encouraging them to display health coverage information around campus. Post messages on digital signage and on the school’s website. Send promotional emails to students. Students and their children may be eligible for Medicaid, CHIP or new, affordable health insurance options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace.