xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Maryland gets federal help in targeting, enrolling kids in health insurance

A Seedco navigator prepares for an enrollment fair at a Hartford library.

The non-profit comunity development group Structured Employment Economic Development Corporation, or Seedco, will receive $950,000 over the next two years to help find and enroll children who are eligible for public health insurance in Maryland, officials from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The funds are part of the fourth round of funding to states from the federal agency to be used to sign up children for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, for a total of about $150 million, officials said Monday. About $32 million was doled out in 27 states in this round to 38 groups from community organization and providers to government agencies and school districts.

Advertisement

Seedco will target groups with lower insurance coverage rates, specifically Latino children and those living in rural areas on the Eastern Shore and the Baltimore City metro area. The group will hire four enrollment assistors and develop bi-lingual and culturally appropriate materials to be used in the outreach process.

Federal officials said the grants were necessary because there were still pockets of children who lacked coverage despite being eligible for the public health programs for poor and low-income families.

Advertisement
Advertisement

A national survey by the Urban Institute found 4.5 percent of eligible children around the country remained uninsured in 2015. Federal officials said the percentage covered jumped about 10 points from 2008 with efforts to find and help them enroll.

Fiscal 2015 data shows that 674,417 children are enrolled in public health insurance programs in Maryland, one of many states to expand access to Medicaid under federal health care reform. Seedco has been enrolling children in insurance through the state's online marketplace since it was created under the Affordable Care Act several years ago. It's an official "navigator" group employed by the exchange.

All the grants, from $300,000 to $1 million, are to be used for targeted outreach, application assistance and other methods to enroll children in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

"Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the rate of uninsurance for children has declined to its lowest levels on record. Fewer than 1 in 20 children are now uninsured," said Health Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell in a statement. "Today's awards will accelerate efforts in communities across America to continue this progress and reach millions of children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP but not yet enrolled."

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement