Report on Evaluation of Iowa's CHIPRA II Outreach and Enrollment Project
The federal Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009 provides funding and programmatic options for states
to offer health insurance coverage for children, as well as for developing efficient and effective strategies to identify, enroll, and retain health coverage for uninsured children who are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) but are not currently enrolled.
Despite the availability of government-sponsored programs like Medicaid and CHIP – known in Iowa as hawk-i – it is estimated that 3 percent of children, or 90,000 children, in the state of Iowa are currently uninsured. In addition, 61 percent of these uninsured children are eligible but not enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP.
The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) – two state agencies that together oversee Medicaid and CHIP administration and enrollment activities – collaborated in order to understand reasons behind the low enrollment in government-sponsored health insurance among eligible, uninsured children in Iowa, and to evaluate ongoing state-lead efforts to identify,
enroll, and retain uninsured families in Medicaid or CHIP. The evaluation activities largely hinged on examining the efforts of outreach coordinators employed by IDPH to increase and facilitate enrollment in these state sponsored health insurance programs. The overriding goal of evaluating these strategies was to identify means to close the uninsured gap among eligible children by implementing a systemic approach to outreach, enrollment, and retention in the Medicaid and CHIP programs.