Catholic organizations help more than 100,000 children access health insurance

.- More than 100,000 children were enrolled in healthcare coverage last year as a result of a Catholic program, called Children's Health Matters.

Children's Health Matters is a nationwide advocacy and enrollment project of Catholic Charities agencies, Catholic hospitals, and Catholic schools, which helps eligible families obtain health insurance.

The partnership works at both the national and state levels to ensure as many eligible children as possible are enrolled in Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Child Health Matters member agencies around the country use a variety of strategies, including outreach, enrollment and legislative advocacy efforts.

Since the program's inception in 1997, more than 548,000 families have been assisted in completing applications for Medicaid and SCHIP. This has resulted in 331,549 uninsured children now receiving healthcare coverage.

Other statistics from the partnership’s 2003 annual report are just as impressive.

In 2003, 155,000 families were assisted with completing applications for Medicaid or SCHIP, resulting in more than 100,000 children enrolled.

Nearly 9,000 meetings, letters, and phone calls were placed to state officials, advocating for the elimination of barriers to enrollment in the Medicaid and SCHIP program, and against state cuts to Medicaid and SCHIP funding and eligibility.

Almost 29,500 people were trained to assist families with completing applications for state Medicaid and SCHIP programs; 230 children's health insurance training sessions were held for service providers, including nurses, social workers, outreach staff.

There were more than 1,300 community education campaigns held at health fairs, parish events, school meetings, and other gatherings to raise awareness of free and low-cost health care.

Looking Glass: The Children's Health Matters 2003 Annual Report includes comprehensive state-by-state data and highlights the successful enrollment and advocacy efforts of many Catholic health facilities and Catholic Charities agencies. For a copy of the report, call 703-549-1390 ext. 147.

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