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Kids in California Are Eligible for No-Cost Medi-Cal All Year Round – Let’s Get Them Covered Today

Summer is almost here and California Coverage & Health Initiatives (CCHI) and all our statewide members want California’s children to be healthy wherever they live and play. Studies show children with health coverage are more likely to thrive and grow up better prepared for life as well as ready to learn in school. This is why we want to remind everyone that enrollment in free health care coverage through California’s Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, is available all year long for children.

There is no deadline for applying, so check out if you and your family are eligible NOW by contacting your local enrollment counselor.  You can search for the nearest one by your zip code HERE or you can call Covered California at 1 (800) 300-1506 and they will assist you.  If you do not live in California, visit your state’s Medicaid agency or Or call 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669).

One less thing to worry about for Mother’s Day

Being a mother changes everything. Before you become a mother, people try to explain what that means – no sleep, no privacy (bathrooms seem to have an open door policy in my house), and your fashion sense goes out the window! The thing is, you can’t really know what it means until you are face to face with this other human being who depends on you for EVERYTHING. Once you get over the mind-numbing fear of all that responsibility, you move on to the practical things that you can do. Car seats– check. Bike helmets – check. A sweater for them whenever you get cold – check. A backpack full of snacks, wipes and allergy medicine at all times – check. We try to do everything we can to keep these little people safe, and that includes making sure that they have health insurance. 
So this Mother’s Day, I want all mothers to ease their anxiety when they see their daughters playing tough defense at mid-field in a soccer game (with much bigger girls), or their middle schooler sons heading out to play a pick-up game of basketball with the high school kids, or all of their children strapping on helmets to go “try out” the neighbor’s skateboard for the first time.

Continuing Access for Kids: There is no end date to staying healthy

As mothers, we know that children need ongoing access to health insurance, ensuring that children can readily gain needed care when faced with injury or illness. Whether it’s allergy season, soccer season or flu season, children need uninterrupted access to care. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provide continuous access to coverage and care year round for eligible children and families. There is no end date to staying healthy.


Medicaid and CHIP are important pillars of our health care system. These programs keep families healthy by providing important health care insurance coverage and access to needed providers. In particular, CHIP plays an important role in extending health coverage to low–to-moderate-income families while raising awareness about all coverage options for families. Enrollment for Medicaid and/or CHIP is open all year long.


Since 1997, CHIP has added an important layer of access to coverage for children and, in most states, pregnant women. Today, almost 8 million children get their health coverage through CHIP.


Connecting Families to Coverage: It’s Never Too Late to Enroll in Medicaid and CHIP

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) wants families to know that adults and children who are eligible for Medicaid and/or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can enroll all year around. Through their “Connecting Kids to Coverage” campaign, CMS hopes to improve the lives of children and families by reminding them that there are no enrollment deadlines for Medicaid and CHIP.

CHIP provides eligible children and teens up to 19 years of age with coverage that covers regular check-ups, shots, doctor and dentist visits, hospital care, mental health services, prescriptions and more. With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) more adults became eligible for Medicaid and many who may have been denied in the past now qualify.

Connecting Homeless Kids and their Families to Medicaid

Many American families are having a hard time these days. The cost of housing, child care and other living expenses are rising, and benefits and wages aren’t keeping pace.  It’s no wonder that 1.6 million kids are homeless and we are seeing more families and children calling home a place that’s actually a car, a homeless shelter, a temporary housing program, a friend’s couch or even an alcove tucked away somewhere on the street.  

In times of crisis, finding shelter, food and safety are the primary concerns, and things like making doctor visits and keeping insurance benefits up to date tend to fall by the wayside. Sadly, this also means serious illnesses can go unaddressed, and preventive care like immunizations and developmental screens get completely off schedule.

Moms: Getting Their Families the Coverage They Need

As we honor moms, we should recognize the important role that many of them play in keeping their families healthy — including getting them the health coverage that they need.  More than 8 million people enrolled in private health coverage during the first open enrollment season for health reform’s insurance marketplaces.  Another 4.8 million individuals enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Many moms were undoubtedly behind those numbers.

After all, moms often coordinate their children’s health care — selecting their doctors, taking them to appointments, and ensuring that they get the care they need.  They also spur the men in their lives to sign up for coverage, research has shown.

Financially Empowering Families by Connecting Them to Medicaid and CHIP

There are well-known reasons why promoting enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) makes sense for cities, but it isn’t just about better health outcomes—it’s also about financial empowerment. Just one medical emergency can bankrupt a family and cause devastating long-term financial hardship.

Did You Know? Insuring Children is Never Out of Season! #insurekidsnow

As a school nurse, I remember overhearing a cashier at my local grocery store sharing with a colleague that her child was sick with asthma and spring allergies, but she did not have health insurance for him, so could not take him to a healthcare provider. In my purse was an application for the state Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – not unusual for this serious advocate for child and adolescent access to health care! I shared briefly about CHIP and handed the cashier the application. When I saw her months later in the store, she shared that her son was now insured!

What You Need to Know About Medicaid and CHIP

While March 31st marked the end of the open enrollment period for purchasing private health insurance through the marketplaces, other avenues to health care coverage remain. Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are critical health insurance programs for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and eligible people can enroll any time.  Depending on the state, and the decisions that have been made about expanding Medicaid, many more people with disabilities may be eligible for health care coverage. 

Medicaid is a lifeline for most people with significant disabilities who generally do not have access to employer-based or other private coverage, have greater medical needs, and often require assistance with activities of daily living throughout their lifetimes.

Getting Covered and Staying Covered

The Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) is a leader in building a healthy society in which all residents have convenient and affordable access to quality healthcare.

An important part of our mission to promote, support and develop comprehensive, accessible and affordable community-based primary health care services is ensuring residents gain health coverage and stay enrolled as long as they are eligible. 

MPCA has had an amazing opportunity to participate in two cycles of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) Outreach and Enrollment Grant program. Our current coverage retention focused initiative partners with seven Health Center organizations who utilize innovative text and voice messaging technology to boost the retention rate of over 100,000 children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in Michigan. Getting signed up is the first key step, but staying enrolled by completing an annual coverage renewal (retention) is equally important to the health of children and teens. 

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