After Congress established SCHIP in 1997 in response to large numbers of uninsured children in low-income working families, states took this unique opportunity to expand children’s coverage and introduce program innovations. To build on this opportunity, RWJF funded the national Covering Kids Initiative (CKI) in 1999 to increase children’s children’s enrollment in SCHIP and Medicaid. In 2002 RWJF extended CKI to families, as well as children, and renamed it Covering Kids & Families (CKF).
RWJF funded 46 state CKF grantees, which included community-based organizations, service agencies, government agencies, academic institutions and health care providers. In turn, these state grantees funded 152 local grantees—at least two in each state—using half of their grants (the average state grant was $828,215). Local grantees were intended to be local laboratories for innovation that could report to state grantees on barriers to enrollment and the most effective types of outreach. The four-year grants began in 2002.
During the CKF evaluation, the study team selected 10 states as case studies to examine the interplay between children’s coverage in Medicaid and SCHIP, the state economic and political environment, the state’s policy and procedures related to coverage, and the activities of the state’s CKF grantees. Our goal was to assess the most important factors contributing to the coverage of children and to suggest the most effective ways of increasing enrollment of eligible children and families in Medicaid and SCHIP. The case study site visits, which took place between 2005 and 2007, included meetings with state officials, CKF state grantee staff and selected local project staff.
Each case study resulted in a written report described in the references. This report is a summary of the overarching findings from the resulting 10 case study reports.