There are more than 18,000 uninsured children in Duval County (Jacksonville, FL). Many of these children qualify for low-cost health insurance through the Florida Healthy Kids program, but are not enrolled, because their parents are simply not aware. In July of 2014, the National League of Cities selected Jacksonville as one of eight cities across the US to receive a grant to address this problem. The Jacksonville Children’s Commission and City of Jacksonville Health Commissioner and State Representative Mia Jones are leading the charge to implement the “Cover Jacksonville” campaign and work with community partners to bridge the gap for the uninsured.
Cover Jacksonville campaign will build on existing enrollment efforts and leverage community resources in order to reduce the number of uninsured Duval County children by 20% by December 2015. In addition, the campaign also aims to provide access to more affordable health insurance options for adults seeking coverage. Through collaborative efforts, the partners will focus on four strategies for enrollment:
Provide trainings and educational seminars and trainings to make community stakeholders, business owners, parents and elected officials aware of affordable insurance options for children and their families.
Promote a culture of health for children and their families through various marketing campaigns, social media (@CoverJax211), earned media, phone banks, enrollment events and the Cover Jacksonville website (coverjax211.com).
Establishing a Single Point of Access
Create a single point of access for child and adult health information through United Way’s 2-1-1 helpline. Callers will receive information, referrals and appointments with trained Enrollment Assisters, who will help them to complete the enrollment process.
Identifying Uninsured Children through Public Schools
Implementation of a pilot program at three public schools to identify uninsured children and get them covered. (Bartram Springs Elementary, Twin Lakes Middle and Atlantic Coast High)
Cover Jacksonville’s key partners include State Representative and Jacksonville Health Commissioner Mia Jones; Duval County Public Schools; Enroll America; Florida Blue; the Florida Department of Children and Families; the Florida Department of Health in Duval County; THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health at Wolfson Children’s Hospital; United Way of Northeast Florida; the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida; and the Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives at UNF.
Grant Award Background
The Cities Expanding Health Access for Children and Families (CEHACF) Initiative will help cities implement comprehensive campaigns to enroll children and families in Medicaid and CHIP and reduce the uninsured rate for children and families by 50% in each of the cities. Families with health insurance reduce emergency room visits, avoid crushing health care costs, and have healthier children who perform better in school.
“As a nation, we’ve made significant progress on enrolling eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP, but millions of children who qualify for coverage under these programs still need to sign up. Cities are vital partners in outreach and enrollment efforts,” said Cindy Mann, Deputy Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “We applaud National League of Cities for its leadership and support.”
NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families is coordinating the initiative as part of a multi-year effort to increase access to health care for children and families funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies. Each city was chosen based on the quality and feasibility of business plans that were developed over six-months of planning and submitted in the spring of 2014.
The other cities selected are:
- Savannah, Georgia
- Garden City, Michigan
- New Bedford, Massachusetts
- Hattiesburg, Mississippi
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Providence, Rhode Island
- Dallas, Texas
“Each city chosen had a rigorous business plan that detailed a clear path forward to drive down the rate of the uninsured in their communities,” said Clarence Anthony, executive director of NLC. “Each city should be commended for the positive contributions they will make to their communities. There are clear benefits to the program with healthier kids meaning better high school and college completion rates and financial savings for the community.”
NLC will provide cities with customized assistance, access to best practices and national experts and opportunities for peer learning during the implementation process. Emphasis will be placed on cross-community collaboration among city agencies, school districts, hospitals and clinics and other community-based organizations.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.