WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich announced $383,152 for the Connecting Kids to Coverage project at Santo Domingo Pueblo to support increased Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollment and retention among eligible children.
The grant was awarded through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 2014 American Indian and Alaska Native Outreach and Enrollment Grants, which provided $3.9 million for outreach and enrollment efforts in seven states to help reduce the number of children who remain uninsured. The funding will help Santo Domingo Pueblo identify eligible children and teens, ensure that children and teens retain their coverage for as long as they qualify, and assist families with the application processes to determine Medicaid and CHIP eligibility and coverage through a qualified health plan. Eligible family members will be contacted through door-to-door interactions, referrals and community events.
"It's critical for families with children and teens who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP to get information about this program and how to enroll," Udall said. "While we've made considerable progress in recent years toward providing all children eligible for Medicaid and CHIP with health coverage, we must ensure our Native communities are included in this progress. I'm pleased this funding will help Santo Domingo Pueblo to better meet the health care needs of Native children in New Mexico. Giving kids a healthy start helps ensure they do well throughout their lives, making future families healthier, and strengthening our economy overall. "
“When it comes to addressing the appalling state of child well-being in New Mexico, improving access to quality health care is a key component," Heinrich said. "This federal investment will help ensure that eligible children at Santo Domingo Pueblo have better access to Medicaid and CHIP. Providing every community in New Mexico, especially in Indian Country, the opportunity to receive affordable and quality health insurance is a top priority. Everybody wins when we support the health and well-being of our children.”
CMS has awarded Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grants since 2009. The grants were initially funded by the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) and are now supported through the Affordable Care Act.