Dates of Project: December 2008 – May 2012
Field of Work: Research and evaluation of state health reform initiatives.
Problem Synopsis: Many children eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are not enrolled in either program. States are searching for new methods to identify and enroll children eligible for—but not enrolled in—Medicaid or CHIP.
Synopsis of the Work: Researchers at the Hilltop Institute evaluated the implementation of Maryland's tax-based outreach initiative, the Kids First Act, and how well the state achieved its goal of identifying and enrolling uninsured children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.
- Researchers identified several factors that expedited enactment of the Kids First Act, including a political climate conducive to enactment and implementation, filing of state tax returns by many low-income households, and useful tax form data.
- The researchers' findings during the course of the project led to changes in Maryland's tax forms that enabled better targeting of households with Medicaid- or CHIP-eligible children and led to the enactment of new legislation that facilitates data sharing with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
- Researchers identified 140 children and 47 adults who enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP subsequent to the Comptroller of Maryland's mailing (in March and April 2012) for tax year 2010.