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CMS, Text4Baby Initiative to Boost Enrollment in Medicaid, CHIP

CMS and text4Baby are promoting enrollment in both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by providing pregnant women and new mothers with free text messages on important healthcare issues. The initiative is designed to highlight how access to both healthcare coverage and health information is critical for families.

Users of text4Baby, a free, national health texting service, will be alerted to the availability of health insurance options; eligible mothers and children will be encouraged to enroll in Medicaid and CHIP. CMS and its partners will also target women not yet aware of text4Baby, and show them how to sign up for health tips and reminders.

The initiative is part of a series of activities marking the anniversaries of both the signing of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) and the launch of text4Baby. States across the country are participating; examples of activities include:

  • In San Diego, applicants use an online application to apply for Medicaid and CHIP can enroll with text4Baby directly;
  • The Florida Department of Health will place contact information for both text4Baby and Florida Healthy Kids (the state’s children’s health insurance program) on the envelopes used to send birth certificates to families with newborns;
  • Oklahoma hospitals are being encouraged to connect new mothers to text4Baby when they enroll newborns in Medicaid right after birth.

Currently, more than 184,000 text4Baby users are receiving a new message alerting them to the availability of free and low-cost health coverage through Medicaid and CHIP. The message will provide a connection to the InsureKidsNow phone number and Web site for information about how to sign up. Additional messages will be periodically texted to provide text4Baby users information about the importance of prenatal visits for women and the value of health coverage for keeping children healthy and getting the care they need when they’re sick.

In 2011, Medicaid and CHIP covered 43.5 million children. Under CHIPRA, CMS has awarded a total of $90 million in grants to states, tribes, non-profit groups, schools, healthcare providers and others to conduct activities to ensure that eligible children are enrolled in health coverage and remain enrolled for as long as they qualify.


Source: CMS, February 28, 2012

Related stories:

New Healthcare Cost Institute to Offer Access to U.S. Payor Data

CMS Survey Shows 7 in 10 Highly Satisfied with Medicaid and CHIP Programs

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: This information is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the business of healthcare. It is distributed with the understanding that Healthcare Intelligence Network is not engaged in rendering legal advice. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be retained.

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