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$10 million in grants available to enroll AI/AN kids in health care

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WASHINGTON – Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently announced the availability of up to $10 million in grants to help reach American Indian and Alaska Native children who qualify for, but are not yet enrolled, in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

These new grants are part of a broader effort to find and enroll uninsured children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but not enrolled. The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 set aside $100 million for fiscal years 2009-2013 expressly to help find and enroll eligible uninsured children, including $10 million specifically for Indian health providers.

As called for in CHIPRA, grants will be awarded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to applicants whose outreach, enrollment and retention efforts will target geographic areas with high rates of eligible but uninsured AI/AN children, who often live in isolated areas and are uninsured at higher-than-average rates.

“American Indian children are often uninsured, although many are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP,” Sebelius said. “These grants will help tribes and Indian health providers reach out to children and families to ensure more children get the health care they need.”

Grants will be awarded to applicants that will be able to demonstrate increases in enrollment and improved retention of children already in Medicaid and CHIP. Grantees will report to CMS the number of new enrollees and those who retained coverage that are directly attributable to the grant activities. Grantees will also report activities they believe were the most effective in finding, enrolling and maintaining coverage for eligible children.

“States have been effective in enrolling over 28 million children in Medicaid and more than 7 million children in CHIP, but there are still millions of uninsured, low income children who are not enrolled in these programs even though they are eligible” said Cindy Mann, the director of the CMS Center for Medicaid and State Operations. “We are looking forward to innovative grant proposals that will put new outreach, enrollment and renewal systems in place to ensure that uninsured Indian children get enrolled and stay enrolled for as long as they are eligible.”

Applications are due by Jan. 15, 2010, and the grants will be awarded April 15. Grants will be available to:

  • IHS.

  • Tribes and tribal organizations operating a health program.

  • Urban Indian organizations operating a health program.

For more information about the outreach and enrollment grants, visit CHIPRA online. Questions about the grants may be directed to the CHIPRA grants mailbox

General information about CHIP can be found online.

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