|Health Factors:||Access to Care|
|Decision Makers:||Educators Healthcare Professionals & Advocates Nonprofit Leaders Public Health Professionals & Advocates|
|Population Reach:||50-99% of WI's population|
|Impact on Disparities:|
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Health insurance enrollment outreach and support programs assist individuals whose employers do not offer affordable coverage, who are self-employed, or unemployed with health insurance needs. Such programs can be offered by a variety of organizations, including government agencies, schools, community-based or non-profit organizations, health care organizations, and religious congregations. Outreach activities vary greatly, and can include community health worker (CHW) efforts, other person-to-person outreach, mass media and social media campaigns, school-based efforts, case management, or efforts in health care settings. Outreach can occur at local events, via hotlines, or at fixed locations (e.g., community centers, non-profit offices, etc.) and are often supported through grants from federal agencies or private foundations.
There is some evidence enrollment outreach and support activities increase enrollment in health insurance programs (Mathematica-Hoag 2014), especially among children (Cochrane-Jia 2014, Cousineau 2011). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.
Health insurance application support and information by community-based case managers may increase enrollment of uninsured children and reduce the time it takes for them to be enrolled (Cochrane-Jia 2014). Providing insurance applications to families seeking care in emergency departments may also increase child enrollment (Cochrane-Jia 2014). Multi-component approaches may also increase new enrollments of children (Cousineau 2011).
Based on the experience of programs working to enroll children in public insurance programs, school-based programs and campaigns appear to be successful strategies to reach those who are uninsured (Urban-Courtot 2009, Mathematica-Irvin 2006). An evaluation of Covering Kids and Families, a broad effort to reach uninsured children and their families, indicates that the program increases awareness of the availability of public health insurance programs for low and moderate income families, and may increase enrollment (Urban-Courtot 2009).
Partnering with other organizations (Urban/SHADAC-Courtot 2012, Urban-Courtot 2009) and using a mix of targeted messages and approaches is often recommended for successful outreach and enrollment activities (Urban/SHADAC-Courtot 2012). Including technology-based systems (e.g., online benefit applications) in enrollment efforts may maximize enrollment overall, while more traditional methods (e.g., community health worker outreach) may increase enrollment among harder to reach populations (Cousineau 2011). Outreach efforts that consider cultural and linguistic norms appear to increase insurance enrollment among Hispanic populations (AHRQ HCIE-Capitman, AHRQ HCIE-Chaves-Gnecco).
Early studies suggest that outreach programs such as Enroll America appear to increase ACA enrollment (Mathematica-Hoag 2014).
Insurance outreach and support efforts played a large role in the 1997 launch and subsequent expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). States’ outreach efforts evolved as their programs matured; general outreach and awareness strategies such as mass media campaigns were often replaced with targeted outreach via community organizations for hard to reach populations (Mathematica-Rosenbach 2007).
Outreach and enrollment programs have also accompanied the launch of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). An estimated 10.6 million individuals were supported by a mixture of 28,000 paid and volunteer workers from 4,400 programs in navigating the ACA health exchanges in their first year (KFF-Pollitz 2014), and organizations such as Enroll America provided outreach and education to maximize coverage uptake (Mathematica-Hoag 2014).
Covering Kids and Families Wisconsin is a statewide coalition that works to maximize participation in health insurance coverage and other services that promote the health and well-being of children and families (CKFWI). Wisconsin’s ACCESS portal allows Wisconsinites to determine eligibility and apply for public health insurance such as Medicaid and BadgerCare Plus online (WI-ACCESS).
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