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Community-based Outreach is Key to Helping Eligible Immigrants Enroll in Medicaid and CHIP

While many lawfully present immigrants may be eligible for health coverage under Medicaid or CHIP, they may find the rules difficult to understand or the enrollment process challenging to complete. Community-based application assistance delivered by people who are members of the community, or who are trusted partners, can help eligible individuals overcome the application hurdles they may be facing. Most important, application assistors can help explain the process and dispel fears that may make eligible individuals reluctant to apply. In communities where languages other than English are spoken, or where applicants or family members may not be proficient in English, it is important for outreach workers to be able to communicate effectively if they are to help applicants enroll and beneficiaries obtain the health care they need. Enhanced federal funds are available for oral interpretation and written translation provided to Medicaid and CHIP applicants and beneficiaries.

Community health outreach workers have had success when they conduct outreach activities in places where people gather and conduct their day-to-day lives. Schools, places of worship and local businesses that cater to community needs and preferences are great places to provide information about Medicaid and CHIP and connect individuals to application assistance. Sharing messages about health coverage on radio and television stations that broadcast in the languages spoken by community members can also be an effective approach.

View this video to hear how one family got their eligible children covered when they went to buy groceries.

CMS is offering links/charts for informational purposes only, facts should not be construed as an endorsement of the organization's programs or activities

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