Covering Kids: A National Health Initiative for Low-Income Uninsured Children

    • March 4, 2005

Covering Kids®: A National Health Initiative for Low-Income Uninsured Children was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to help states and local communities increase the number of eligible children who benefit from public health insurance coverage programs.

The program sought to design and conduct outreach efforts that identify and enroll eligible children into Medicaid and other coverage programs, simplify the enrollment process and coordinate existing coverage programs.

The program resulted in a total of 173 pilot projects to increase coverage for eligible children in the 50 states and the District of Columbia; some 4,200 public and private organizations associated themselves with statewide and local Covering Kids coalitions.

The number of uninsured children in the United States dropped from 11 million in 1997 to 8 million in 2002. Though it is impossible to know the exact number of children enrolled due to the Covering Kids Initiative, participants agree that Covering Kids played a key role in the enrollment of children.

The Covering Kids Initiative contributed to the simplification of enrollment procedures and the coordination and cross-linking of both eligibility and enrollments for existing public health insurance programs for children.

The program led to the Covering Kids & Families program funded by RWJF.