FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: CMS Media Relations
November 12, 2014
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CMS awards $3.9 million to improve access to quality health care services for American Indian and Alaska Native Children
Grant awards will support Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment efforts
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today awarded $3.9 million for outreach and enrollment efforts aimed at American Indian and Alaska Native children eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The grant awards will fund activities to engage schools and tribal agencies in Medicaid and CHIP outreach and enrollment activities.
CMS awarded grant funds to health programs operated by the Indian Health Services, tribes, tribal organizations and urban Indian organizations located in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
“We are very pleased to support efforts that help eligible American Indian and Alaska Native children gain access to affordable health coverage,” said Director of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Cindy Mann. “More people with health coverage also benefits local health care facilities, allowing them to offer more services and improve health care for the whole community.”
Several grantees will receive funds to conduct activities focused on helping eligible teens enroll in coverage. Grantees will work to ensure that eligible children retain coverage for as long as they qualify and will help guide families through the application process for Medicaid and CHIP.
Since 2009, the United States has made substantial progress toward reducing the number of children who remain uninsured, and toward providing health coverage to all children who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. Despite this significant progress, serious health coverage disparities persist, particularly for American Indian and Alaska Native children. Research shows that eligible American Indian and Alaska Native children are less likely to participate in Medicaid and CHIP and more likely to be uninsured compared with all children.
These awards, authorized under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 and extended by the Affordable Care Act, will help ensure American Indian and Alaska Native children have opportunities to get quality health care services which may not be available through their local Indian health care provider.
In states with expanded Medicaid, more parents and other adults in the family could be eligible for health coverage than in the past and can apply at any time.
For more information and a complete summary of the current American Indian and Alaska Native Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment grants, visit http://www.insurekidsnow.gov/