INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana health care group will get $1 million to enroll more children in health care, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.
Covering Kids and Families of Indiana was awarded the money to ensure more children are covered under Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the funding is a part of $32 million going to various groups across the nation given to 41 groups in 22 states this week as part of a broader, $140 million outreach campaign.
When President Barack Obama took office, more than 8 million children were uninsured, Sebelius said. But efforts over the last five years have increased the number of children covered by 1.7 million and helped drive down the number of uninsured children nationwide to 6.6 percent.
"We knew expanding access to coverage wasn't enough, that four out of five of those uninsured children were already eligible for coverage, through Medicaid or CHIP, and we had to take more steps to find them and get them enrolled," Sebelius said.
The grants help pay for outreach in low-income areas with programs through schools and language assistance to help families through the application process. The money will be used to reach out to children through schools, fast-track enrollment for families already receiving federal aid, help with applications in local communities and enroll children in targeted communities across the state.
Workers will also be sent to schools around the state, and mobile health clinics will be sent to rural schools to enroll children.
Covering Kids and Families is one of many advocacy groups that supported the federal health care law. The group has also been pushing, with others, for the state to expand Medicaid coverage through the law. Indiana's request to use a state-run alternative for the expansion is still pending.