Collaboratives Propel Systems Change

Covering Kids & Families

The Covering Kids & Families coalitions had three strategies to increase enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP): simplification of public coverage programs, coordination of public benefit programs and outreach to those who are potentially eligible. In 2002, the economic downturn created barriers to enrolling more children and families through outreach, as states scaled back on expanding coverage and making other cost reductions in their programs. Covering Kids & Families coalitions needed to focus more attention on the other strategies of the project to increase and maintain coverage of those children and families eligible for Medicaid and CHIP.

Toward that end, the Southern Institute on Children & Families (the national program office) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) sponsored two Eligibility Process Improvement Collaboratives to help grantees improve and simplify the administrative processes for determining eligibility, enrolling eligible children and families in Medicaid or CHIP and retaining them in coverage.