NLC Summer Leadership Academy: How to Connect Your City’s Families and Children to Health Coverage

NLC’s YEF Institute has seen committed city leaders across a wide range of agencies use their unique positions in city government to improve the health of children and families in their communities by launching or supporting health insurance outreach and enrollment campaigns.

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When residents lack access to preventive care, illnesses can become more serious and expensive to treat over time. Unaddressed chronic health conditions can reduce children’s school attendance and academic achievement while impacting a parent’s ability to work. (Getty Images)

NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) is offering a new opportunity for city leaders and their partners to learn about proven strategies to connect children and families to no- or low-cost health insurance. With support from The Atlantic Philanthropies, NLC has worked with eight cities over the past three years on the Cities Expanding Health Access for Children and Families (CEHACF) initiative to understand the role city leaders and agencies can play to increase awareness of and enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). On July 19-21, the YEF Institute is hosting a Leadership Academy in the Washington, D.C. area to share best practices and lessons learned with a new group of city leaders interested in reducing the number of uninsured families in their communities.

CEHACF cities designed and implemented city-led outreach and enrollment campaigns and connected more than 16,000 children and families to health coverage through enrollments and renewals, significantly bringing down the ranks of the uninsured in their communities. This newly released project video by Mathematica Policy Research, the project evaluators, provides a glimpse at some of the strategies these cities employed.

Leadership Academy participants will learn directly from the CEHACF cities that built these campaigns from the ground up. Some of the topics that will be covered include assessing community health insurance needs and challenges, identifying strategic partners, innovative outreach and enrollment assistance strategies, and tips for building, implementing, and sustaining city-led outreach and enrollment campaigns.

Enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP is available year-round, and city leaders are well-placed to connect eligible residents to this coverage and prevent the costs associated with being uninsured – costs which can result in greater municipal cost burdens. When residents lack access to preventive care, illnesses can become more serious and expensive to treat over time. Unaddressed chronic health conditions can reduce children’s school attendance and academic achievement while impacting a parent’s ability to work. Costly medical interventions can easily plunge families into financial crisis if they are uninsured or under-insured, limiting their purchasing power.

Join NLC at this unique learning opportunity to gain practical knowledge and information about replicating efforts to connect residents to health care coverage. Please submit short applications in response to this RFP. Applications should be emailed to schluckebier@nlc.org no later than May 4, 2016. Travel and hotel expenses will be covered by NLC.

To learn more about this opportunity, contact Dawn Schluckebier at Schluckebier@nlc.org.

Dawn Schluckebeir_headshotAbout the Author: Dawn Schluckebier is a Senior Associate for Family Economic Success in NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. Follow Dawn on Twitter at @TheSchluck.