The Covering Kids & Families (CKF) initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) had two goals: to reduce the number of children and adults eligible for Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) who remain uninsured, and to build the knowledge, experience and capacity necessary to sustain the enrollment and retention of children and adults in those programs after the CKF program ends. RWJF issued four-year CKF grants to 46 states, beginning in 2002. CKF expanded on its predecessor, the RWJF Covering Kids Initiative (CKI), which operated from 1999 to 2002. CKF works through state and local coalitions to maximize enrollment in public health insurance programs for uninsured, low-income children and adults. CKF grantees employed three strategies to increase enrollment and retention of eligible uninsured children and families:
Outreach to encourage enrollment in SCHIP and Medicaid;
Simplification of SCHIP and Medicaid policies and procedures to make it easier for families to enroll their children and keep them covered; and
Coordination between SCHIP and Medicaid to ensure the easy transition of families between programs if they apply for the wrong program or their eligibility changes subsequently.
This is one of 10 case studies that examine the link between enrollment trends and policy and practice at the state and local levels. The case studies look particularly at the role of outreach, simplification and coordination in changing levels of new enrollment over time. The case studies are the work of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and its subcontractors, the Urban Institute and Health Management Associates, the team entrusted with evaluating the CKF program.