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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

HCFA’S Childrens Enrollment Phone-A-Thon Honored By CMS

HCFA’S Childrens Enrollment Phone-A-Thon Honored By CMS

February 4, 2011

Today, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a report on the second anniversary of the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) to highlight the progress states have made to enroll all children in health care coverage.   HCFA is honored that this year’s report recognized our “Got Coverage?” children’s enrollment phone-a-thon as a national standout.

The report writes:

In September 2010, Health Care for All, a Massachusetts health care advocacy organization and CHIPRA grantee conducted its first one-day Phone-A-Thon, part of the group’s campaign, “Got Coverage? Health Coverage for Children and Teens.” From 9 am to 9 pm, 15 staff and volunteers responded to calls requesting health coverage information and helped to enroll children over the phone. In one day over 400 calls were answered and 300 children were enrolled in health coverage. (The HelpLine typically enrolls 150 to 200 children in the course of three months.)

In preparation for the Phone-A-Thon, Health Care for All conducted intensive, targeted outreach for three weeks before the event. Postcards and posters were distributed to nearly 400 organizations, with a focus on Spanish-and Portuguese-speaking communities, which are most likely to include higher numbers of eligible, uninsured children. The group made presentations at individual churches and with faith-based networks and appeared on more than 30 Spanish, and Portuguese, language radio shows. A commercial featuring the Phone-A-Thon was developed and aired on two Brazilian TV channels, as well as on Univision and Channel 7, which covered the Phone-A-Thon on the news. Massachusetts now boasts a 1% uninsured rate for children, the lowest in the country. Yet groups like Health Care for All continue to execute innovative new strategies to find and enroll children who still may be missing out on health coverage.

HCFA was also a featured guest on a national conference call with Cindy Mann, Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations, to discuss how we successfully enrolled 300 children in a single day with only a handful of volunteers and staff.

Congratulations to our CHIPRA team, and thank you CMS for recognizing HCFA’s work to keep kids healthy!
-Dayanne Leal