Sustaining the Effects of Covering Kids & Families® on Policy Change

Results of a Follow-Up Telephone Survey of Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Officials in 46 States

This report is part of the evaluation of Covering Kids & Families® (CKF), a program that was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 46 states with 152 grantees. CKF had two goals: to reduce the number of uninsured children and adults eligible for health coverage, and to sustain those reductions after CKF ended.

In December 2006 and January 2007, Health Management Associates (HMA) conducted a telephone survey with Medicaid and SCHIP officials in 46 states. This survey was structured as a follow-up to a 2005 survey conducted by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. and HMA, which examined CKF's influence on various areas, including simplified enrollment, renewal/retention, coordination, eligibility and outreach.

Key Findings:

  • State officials highly valued the CKF program.
  • Most policy and procedural changes that CKF influenced in Medicaid and SCHIP programs since January 2002 are still in effect and were expected to remain in effect.
  • Eligibility expansion and outreach changes were more likely to be reversed or considered at risk of reversal.
  • The efforts of CKF grantees and coalitions inspired a greater sense of confidence and leadership among state officials.
  • The program's legacy includes an extensive set of state communication networks of local organizations and government agencies dedicated to children's health and coverage. This largely permanent presence may indirectly improve coverage over the long run by raising the profile of public health programs among state legislative leaders, whose influence has such enormous sway over the direction of Medicaid and SCHIP policies.

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