Special Opportunity: Increasing Enrollment of Eligible Coloradans in Medicaid and CHP+
How to Apply
The Colorado Health Foundation invites safety net organizations, including federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, community mental health centers and community-funded safety net clinics, to submit applications to increase the enrollment of eligible Coloradans in Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+). Specifically, the Foundation seeks to fund two-year projects to create partnerships between safety net organizations and county departments of human/social services or other state-designated medical assistance sites to out-station enrollment technicians at clinic sites.
Health insurance is critical to an individual's ability to access health care. Research suggests that one Coloradan dies every day due to a lack of health insurance. In addition, people without health insurance do not get needed preventive care, often resulting in acute illness requiring more expensive emergency room treatment. Many of these costs are passed on to people with insurance in the form of higher premiums.
Despite the availability of public insurance programs, thousands of Coloradans are uninsured, including 176,000 children. According to the Colorado Health Institute, nearly 115,000 of Colorado's uninsured children are eligible for public programs but not enrolled.
As a result of the Colorado Health Care Affordability Act, many Coloradans will become newly eligible for public insurance programs. In the first expansion, implemented in May 2010, nearly 70,000 Coloradans became eligible for Medicaid and CHP+, including an estimated 44,000 parents who have a child on Medicaid and 24,000 children and pregnant women. Further coverage expansions will occur as the Health Care Affordability Act is fully implemented and as federal health reform takes effect.
Despite increased eligibility for these programs, barriers to enrollment remain. These include:
- lack of awareness about the programs;
- misconceptions about eligibility;
- the complex and time-consuming application process;
- problems with the state's computerized system that determines eligibility;
- documentation requirements; and
- social stigma associated with accessing public assistance programs.
Research has identified effective strategies for increasing enrollment in public programs, including:
- Simplifying the enrollment and renewal processes;
- Conducting community-based outreach and application assistance;
- Using technology to allow, for example, state databases to exchange eligibility information so people can apply online or over the phone, eliminating the need to provide paper documentation of information the state already has; and
- Targeting marketing strategies to reach eligible but not enrolled populations.
Applicants must represent a partnership between a safety net organization and county departments of human/social services or other state designated medical assistance sites. Evidence of partnership must be demonstrated through joint submission of the proposal and shared funding between the partnering organizations.
Grants will be awarded based on:
- Ability to document number of individuals enrolled in Medicaid and CHP+ as a result of the project.
- Demonstrated partnership between a community clinic and county department of human/social services or medical assistance site.
- Detailed work plan with potential to increase enrollment in Medicaid and CHP+.
- Clearly articulated roles of partnering organizations.
- Ability to target outreach to individuals who are uninsured and likely to be eligible for Medicaid and CHP+.
- Plans for sustainability after the grant period ends.
How to Apply
Applications will be accepted at each of the Foundation's regular grant application deadlines. Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. on the deadline date. When these dates fall on a holiday or weekend, the deadline will be the next business day. To apply, please use the Colorado Health Foundation's online grant application.
For questions regarding your application, please email questions to Erica Snow, senior program officer, or call 303.953.3656.