CMS commits over $49 million to reduce uninsured rate among children

Jan. 28, 2022

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) committed a record $49.4 million to fund organizations that can connect more eligible children, parents, and pregnant individuals to healthcare coverage through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Awardees—including state/local governments, tribal organizations, federal health safety net organizations, non-profits, schools, and others—will receive up to $1.5 million each for a three-year period to reduce the number of uninsured children by advancing Medicaid/CHIP enrollment and retention.

Supporting President Joe Biden’s 2021 Executive Order on Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, this notice of funding opportunity leverages the Connecting Kids to Coverage program to continue making healthcare more accessible and affordable. Funded organizations will provide enrollment and renewal assistance to children and their families, as well as pregnant people—a new optional target population in this year’s award announcement.

Applicants will be encouraged to consider a range of activities, including:

  • Engaging schools and other programs serving young people;
  • Bridging racial and demographic health coverage disparities by targeting communities with low coverage rates;
  • Establishing and developing application assistance resources to provide high-quality, reliable enrollment and renewal services in local communities;
  • Using social media to conduct virtual outreach and enrollment assistance; and
  • Using parent mentors and community health workers to assist families with enrolling in Medicaid and CHIP, retaining coverage, and addressing social determinants of health.

This funding is vital to making sure children are enrolled in coverage, especially those who are eligible for but not yet enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP coverage. Studies show that, of the approximately four million children who remain uninsured, 2.3 million are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP. Many families do not know that their children may be eligible or understand how to enroll. Disparities also remain particularly pronounced among specific groups. American Indian and Alaska Native children experience the highest uninsured rate (11.8%), for example, followed by Hispanic (11.4%) and non-Hispanic Black children (5.9%).

In addition, Medicaid and CHIP play a critical role by providing coverage for over 42% of births in the nation, nearly half of which are to Black, Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaskan Native individuals. Because Medicaid and CHIP coverage is a key step in ensuring access to necessary prenatal care and healthy birth outcomes, this funding opportunity is including pregnant individuals as a new target population. Expanding the outreach target population to include pregnant individuals will also directly lead to increased enrollment of eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP; generally, the infants born to individuals who are enrolled in these programs at the time of birth are automatically deemed eligible for Medicaid and CHIP for one year. 

Applications will be accepted through March 28, 2022. For more information, visit