202501 Partnering with Wisconsin schools and community organizations to increase public health insurance coverage of eligible children and families

Monday, November 9, 2009

Roberta Riportella, PhD , Department of Consumer Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Danielle Berman, MS , Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Allison Hales Espeseth, MS , Covering Kids & Families-Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
We will present preliminary findings from CHILD (“Connecting Health Insurance to Lunch Data”). CHILD is a three-year research project collaborating with public schools testing strategies to better identify and enroll children who are uninsured and eligible for Wisconsin's SCHIP health care coverage. By working with the public school system, CHILD is uniquely situated to reach uninsured children and families through a trusted institution. Nationally, as many as three-quarters of the uninsured are estimated eligible for public health coverage, yet traditional, broadly-aimed information campaigns fail to reach those in need. Working with schools was borne out of the recognition that income-eligibility for Wisconsin's SCHIP matches schools' free/reduced price lunch (FRPL). Federal law allows student information from FRPL to be shared for the purposes of assisting with application to SCHIP. The result is an opportunity for a significantly more targeted approach to outreach. Implementing outreach campaigns in schools and negotiating information sharing (both for use in SCHIP application assistance and project evaluation) can help CHILD schools become healthier. It increases awareness of the coverage issue among staff, gives them resources to help meet this need, and works to institutionalize practices that help identify and assist uninsured families. Further, through implementing health insurance status tracking within the school, uninsured students and families are able to be directly contacted and assisted, leading to a more effective use of outreach dollars. Through this presentation we will present all quantitative outreach evaluation and qualitative process evaluation results from the first two years in the field.

Learning Objectives:
1) Identify existing federal regulations that allow schools to share student information for the purposes of encouraging increased coverage under public health programs (SCHIP) 2) Assess the process for planning and implementing SCHIP outreach in collaboration with schools and community organizations 3) Compare the opportunities for and challenges to accessing school and student data for project impact evaluation

Keywords: Health Insurance, Outreach Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a lead staff person responsible for both carrying out the project as well as its evaluation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.