SECTION 6 • APPENDIX A
CHILDREN FIRST OUTREACH FLYER
School Outreach Activities
The following activities are specifically designed for schools to promote enrollment in children’s public health insurance. Find more ideas and resources at the federal Insure Kids Now website: www.insurekidsnow.gov.
- Engage all members of the school community. In addition to teachers, counselors, and school nurses, don’t forget secretaries, cafeteria workers, coaches, bus drivers, janitors, and PTA members. They often know students who may be missing out on health care and can link them to coverage.
- Train school staff to provide application and renewal help. School staff can help families complete applications, troubleshoot problems, and remind parents when it’s time to renew coverage. In states that have adopted the Presumptive Eligibility option (see “Policy Tools,”), school staff may be able to enroll eligible children temporarily, giving families time to complete the enrollment process.
- Team up with experienced partners. Community groups with trained staff know how to assist families in enrolling and renewing coverage. When a school partners with a health care provider, families also gain a reliable source of care for their children.
- Make outreach part of the school’s routine. Add insurance status questions to school registration or emergency contact forms and provide help to families with uninsured children. Some schools have used these forms to track progress year to year with the goal of achieving 100% coverage. Schools can add a checkbox to the School Lunch application so parents can authorize information to be shared with people able to provide assistance with enrollment in health coverage.
- Incorporate outreach at special events. School health fairs, clinics for school physicals, and PTA meetings present a perfect opportunity to provide information to families about Medical Assistance and CHIP. Other activities occurring throughout the year, such as Back-to-School Night, fundraisers, or school performances, might also be a good way to connect with parents and direct them to a convenient place to get application help later on.
- Target schools in which children are likely to qualify for Medical Assistance or CHIP. Schools with large proportions of children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals and students in Title I schools are likely to be eligible. Provide application help for these families.
- Enlist school athletics coaches. Without insurance it may be hard to obtain the physical exam many school districts require in order to participate in school sports. Often, families with uninsured children are reluctant to let them participate for fear of injury. See the Get Covered, Get in the Game strategy guide for tips on how school and community sports programs can help enroll children in Medical Assistance and CHIP – https://www.insurekidsnow.gov/media/181.
- Sign up students when they register for Driver Education. This is another time when families may be concerned about health coverage for their teens.
- Identify schools with large numbers of limited English proficient (LEP) students. Provide bilingual information and application assistance. Some schools conduct English as a Second Language (ESL) classes for adults, which offers a direct link to parents.
- Take advantage of school resources, such as computer labs, when appropriate. One Florida school district established a “Family Connection Corner” with free Internet access in half of its schools. Families can apply online with school staff on hand to help.