Change Happens proposes to reduce the number of children and pregnant individuals who are eligible for, but not enrolled in, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and to improve retention of eligible children who are enrolled in the program.
Change Happens is a community-based, social service organization located in Houston, Harris County Texas. The organization is one of the largest, Black-founded, Black-led organizations in the Greater Gulf Coast Region of Texas. Since its inception 31-years ago, Change Happens has worked to serve disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. Today the organization has outreach and enrollment programs in 59 Counties throughout Texas and has a long history of outreach and enrollment activities for public benefit programs.
The target population for Change Happens’ Connecting Kids to Coverage (CKC) program includes children and pregnant women who are Hispanic and Black/non-Hispanic living in Harris County/Houston, Texas. According to the Urban Institute analysis, there are approximately 4.0 million children that remain uninsured, with significant coverage disparities across demographic and socioeconomic groups. An analysis by Every Texan of US Census American Community Survey (2019, 5-year estimate) concludes that there are over 400,000 Texas Children that are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP and not receiving these benefits. Moreover, 12.3% of children in Harris County are uninsured. When children are uninsured, they cannot access the health coverage they need.
Change Happens proposes to bridge racial and demographic health coverage disparities by targeting subgroups of children with lower-than-average health coverage rates. Change Happens will use evidenced-based outreach and enrollment activities that are designed to capitalize on key opportunities for outreach and are expected to be particularly productive to promoting enrollment and retention in Medicaid and CHIP. In addition, Change Happens has created a broad range of public education activities to reach consumers through multiple touch points and to establish application assistance resources to provide high quality, reliable Medicaid/CHIP enrollment and renewal services in local communities. Outreach strategies include; year-round enrollment, back-to-school time strategies, and retaining eligible individual in Medicaid and CHIP.
The goals for the project are that by the end of the project period, 6,400 children for whom an application for health coverage was submitted; 3,840 children will be newly enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP; 2,560 children will be renewed in Medicaid or CHIP; and 1,375 pregnant women for whom an application for health coverage will be submitted, with 400 pregnant women newly enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP.
Funds will be used to support project staff that includes a Project Director, Program Coordinator, seven Outreach and Enrollment Specialists, and a Program Assistant/Data Entry Specialist. In addition, funds will be used to support a variety of outreach strategies. Change Happens request $897,655 to support the program.