Iowa Expands Health Insurance to Low-Income Children

From 1997 to 1999, staff at the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) conducted planning activities for its State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which included an expansion of Medicaid and the establishment of a new program, called Healthy and Well Kids Iowa (hawk-i).

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Healthy Kids Replication Program national program.

Key Results

  • Iowa received federal CHIP funds in the same time period as RWJF funds for this grant. Project accomplishments included:

    • Using the actuarial analyses, the project team developed premium rates for the program.
    • The project team selected two companies to provide statewide coverage under hawk-i: Iowa Health Solutions and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
    • Project staff developed training packets and a training video for state agencies and community organizations to use in educating their staff members about hawk-i.
    • Project staff conducted a series of outreach activities, including:
      • Operating exhibit booths at family fairs and health conferences.
      • Sponsoring an outreach conference entitled "Searching for Austin."
      • Distributing program brochures to schools, public health agencies, Iowa DHS offices, churches and other advocates statewide.
    • According to data from the CHIP website, Iowa enrolled 53,023 children in hawk-I from 1999 and 2001.