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How the ACA Helps Low-Income Parents – and Children – Succeed

A few weeks ago, President Obama announced that 8 million people have signed up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) exchanges; 28 percent (about 2.2 million) were between ages 18 and 34.  But also important for young adults is the opportunity to sign up for Medicaid, which provides health care for low-income people and, unlike the exchanges, does not have a deadline.  

Within this group is a large number of low-income parents—and the correspondingly large number of young children whose early life is shaped by these parents' caregiving. For example, a national sample of infants found that half of the babies living in poverty had mothers age 24 or under and another one-fifth to one-quarter had mothers between 25 and 29.

Meeting these mothers’ -- and fathers’ -- physical and mental health needs can help them succeed in school, in job training, in the workplace, and as parents. 

Celebrating Mother’s Day with CHIP

How about a Mother’s Day gift of one less thing to worry about? The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid are there for families still without health insurance, and there’s no enrollment date to worry about. Children and teens up to age 18 – expecting mothers and parents too! – may be eligible for this free or low-cost care. So Mom can rest easy on her special day knowing the kids are getting regular checkups, lifesaving immunizations, doctor and dentists visits, emergency care, and more.

A Pennsylvania mother whose three sons are enrolled in CHIP thanks the coverage for the “perfect” care her twins received when they were born premature:

Just The Facts: Gateway to Care & the Culture of Health

We speak to many people everyday who call Gateway to Care because they are looking for healthcare. The phone call may start with the parent calling for assistance in locating healthcare options, but it will end with the whole family having the steps and tools they need for health coverage. Being that we are located in the state of Texas, 1 out of every 4 people are uninsured, the highest rate of uninsured people in the country Gateway to Care's Connecting Kids and Families to Coverage team strives to make an impact on these numbers.

Our way of making sure that as many children are enrolled in CHIP/Medicaid as possible is by providing ongoing training to community leaders and stopping the spread of misinformation. We also participate in as many outreach events as possible and share the information with as many people as possible.

How can WE make a Difference?


Enroll your kid NOW. There is no telling what can happen in the future and health insurance is important.

Sign Up is Ongoing for Medicaid and CHIP

Spring is the time we think of children and their families being outside without their coats and seeing the bird’s nest if you stand on your tippy toes.  As spring came this year, the open enrollment period ended for the private insurance created by the Affordable Care Act.  The good news is that enrolling a child or a child’s parent in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is not limited by the seasons and is available now and next week and next month….come rain or come shine.  There is no deadline or enrollment period and signing up is available year round for either one of these programs.

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.

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