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United Way Blog

Children’s Health is a National Priority

Children’s Health is a National Priority

When it comes to the health of our nation, United Way cares about ensuring that everyone has health insurance, that folks eat well, and that Americans remain active and energized.

Specifically for children, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program provide vital health care to children whose families don’t receive coverage from their employer, or who don’t earn enough money to afford coverage on their own.

Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) commissioned a survey by Lake Research Partners interviewing over 1,900 families at 250% of the federal poverty level or less. One-third of the families had children covered by Medicaid; a third were covered by CHIP; and a third received coverage through their employers.  The intent was to measure perceptions of these programs from families who are eligible for it; find what works and what doesn’t work about the program; and learn what strategies work best in terms of connecting kids to coverage.

Some of the key findings were as follows:

  • Families whose children were covered by Medicaid or CHIP were more satisfied with their care than those receiving employer-sponsored care
  • The top reason why families enroll their children in Medicaid or CHIP is for “peace of mind.”  Families also like the programs because they are affordable and due to the menu of services provided to their children
  • The top barriers to enrollment were the perceptions that enrollment is hard, and that families think they earn too much to qualify.  Families didn’t know whom to call or where to turn to learn information about the programs
  • English speakers tend to prefer to enroll online or via post, whereas Spanish speakers tend to prefer enrolling at government agencies
  • The most trusted messengers about Medicaid and CHIP are doctors and nurses
  • A great majority are satisfied with the enrollment process
  • For English speakers, it’s important to emphasize the eligible income range; that enrollment is available online; and to arm doctors and nurses with outreach and enrollment information
  • For Spanish speakers, it’s important to provide information in Spanish, emphasize affordability, and inform them that in-person assistance is available

View the Survey Topline 

Tweet About It

If you’d like to DO something to support Medicaid and CHIP, tweet about it!  As the ‘Super Committee’ (Congress’ Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction) considers ways to reduce the deficit, many are concerned that kids could get cut when it comes to their health and well-being.  So register your support for Medicaid and CHIP by tweeting “Medicaid and CHIP work!” with the hashtags #dontcutkids #kidswin #jsc #medicaid #chip.