A coalition of Michigan hospitals, urban school districts and Community Health Centers launched an intensified back-to-school campaign this week to enroll eligible children in the state’s low-cost and free health insurance programs known as MIChild and Healthy Kids.
The eight-week campaign is part of a year-long effort of the Enroll Michigan coalition to enroll as many of Michigan’s more than 127,000 uninsured and eligible children as is possible in MIChild or Healthy Kids. The back-to-school effort will include local enrollment teams in school buildings and hospitals in targeted geographic areas, a simplified enrollment process for children and their families, and TV, radio, transit and billboard ads.
The Enroll Michigan coalition includes the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA), the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) and the Middle Cities Education Association (MCEA).
“A child who gets health care in the right place at the right time is better prepared to learn and less likely to develop serious, costly medical conditions,” said MPCA Executive Director Kim Sibilsky. “The goal of the Enroll Michigan back-to-school project is to help more Michigan children get affordable coverage, obtain the care they need, and become healthier and happier students.”
More than 127,000 children are uninsured in Michigan. While most are eligible for MIChild or Healthy Kids, they have not enrolled for reasons including language barriers, lack of transportation or means of communication (telephone access) and unawareness of eligibility and/or how to enroll. Enroll Michigan has been working since March to connect the families of eligible children to MPCA Community Navigators to complete the simplified online, telephone and in-person enrollment processes.
The coalition recently launched a gift card incentive program June 1 that gives $10 gift cards to people who refer a child to coverage through Enroll Michigan. The gift card program runs through Sept. 30 or until supplies last.
MHA President, Spencer Johnson urged families with children who have no health insurance to enroll them today by calling 2-1-1, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the Enroll Michigan website, www.enrollmichigan.com.
“The process to enroll eligible children has been simplified significantly, and the quality of care and services available through MIChild and Healthy Kids are high,” Johnson said. “We urge families whose children are without health insurance to call 2-1-1 or visit the website today. Chances are good that their child will be eligible, and can be enrolled.”
“Healthy kids can consistently attend school and aren’t distracted with avoidable medical conditions that can set them back,” said Ray Telman, executive director of the MCEA. “Let’s make sure kids return to school this fall with the best school supply there is—their health.”