PROVIDENCE – The National League of Cities, a coalition of more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns across the country, has awarded the city of Providence a $30,000 grant to develop an outreach campaign to enroll children and families in RIte Care, the state’s Medicaid-managed care program for low-income families.
Providence is one of 12 cities nationwide, including New Bedford, to receive guidance and grant funding from the National League of Cities under its Cities Expanding Health Access for Children and Families initiative. The cities were competitively selected through an invitation-only proposal process.
With the $30,000 grant, Providence’s Healthy Communities Office will spend six months between November and May developing a business plan aimed at reducing the number of uninsured youth in the city by at least 1,800 children, from the current estimate of 3,469 uninsured children.
The majority of these children will be those already eligible for but not enrolled in RIte Care prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act, but whose parents may have had different health-coverage options as a result of the law and other local changes made in Rhode Island, the city said.
“We are working to strengthen the health of Providence’s children and families, and increasing access to health insurance is an important part of those efforts,” said Mayor Angel Taveras in a statement. “This funding comes at a critical moment for health reform, and by bringing together stakeholders from across the Capital City, we can build a plan that will help us reduce the number of uninsured children in Providence for years to come.”
The National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families is coordinating the initiative to enroll eligible children and families in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program as part of its ongoing project funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies to improve access to health care for children and families.
The 12 cities chosen to participate in the initiative will receive city-specific technical assistance and access to national experts.
During the final phase of the initiative, the National League of Cities will select six of the 12 cities to receive an additional two-year grant of up to $260,000 and continued assistance to implement the outreach plan developed during the six-month planning process.
Approximately 70 percent of uninsured children in the U.S. are currently qualified but not enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, the National League of Cities said. Working and low-income families enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP have access to benefits such as inpatient and outpatient hospital services, low- or no-cost screening, and preventative services and prescription drugs.
Other cities selected to receive planning grants through the Cities Expanding Health Access for Children and Families initiative include:
- Auroro, Colo.
- Columbia, Pa.
- Garden City, Mich.
- Hattiesburg, Miss.
- Jacksonville, Fla.
- Omaha, Neb.
- Savannah, Ga.