New Grant Opportunity!

By Jennifer Sullivan

Navigators and In-Person Assistance Programs have been getting all the attention lately, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued information about a new grant opportunity that might also be of interest to outreach and enrollment stakeholders: the Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grants. These grants are available to groups that conduct outreach to get children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. This is the third round of grants that CMS is awarding to connect children to coverage. The first two rounds were awarded in 2009 and 2011, and they were funded through the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009. This year’s round of funding was provided through the Affordable Care Act.

Over the last four years, CHIPRA Outreach Grants have provided $80 million to state and local governments and to community based nonprofit organizations. The grants fund creative outreach and enrollment strategies for enrolling eligible uninsured children in Medicaid and CHIP. Projects range from targeting specific vulnerable groups, connecting kids to coverage at school, helping children maintain coverage, and improving state IT systems to make eligibility and enrollment more efficient. Between 2008 and 2011, due in part to work funded through these grants, 1.2 million children have enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, bringing the national take-up rate for these programs to 93 percent!

CMS is making $32 million available for this last round of grants, which will be awarded in June of this year. Individual grants will range in size from $250,000 to $1 million. The grant period runs through May 31, 2014, which means these grantees will be rolling out their projects alongside larger outreach efforts geared at enrolling adults in Medicaid and coverage through health insurance exchanges.

Proposals should focus on one of five core areas:

  1. School-based outreach
  2. Bridging health coverage disparities
  3. Targeting enrollment strategies to streamline enrollment for individuals participating in other public benefit programs
  4. Application assistance
  5. Training communities to help families understand the new application and enrollment systems

CMS is hosting teleconferences this month for anyone who wants to learn more about this opportunity. You can find teleconference times and registration details here.

Interested in applying for a grant? Be sure to read the full solicitation, and submit a letter of intent to CMS by January 29. Proposals are due February 21.


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