$40 Million in Grants Available to Help Insure Low-Income Children; Tribal Governments Eligible to Apply for Funding

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced the availability of up to $40 million in grants to help reach families whose children qualify but are not yet enrolled in state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP). These grants comprise the first cycle of funding available for outreach and enrollment activities under the recently enacted Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA). Applications submitted electronically are due by August 6, 2009. Applications submitted by mail are due by August 10, 2009. Grants will be awarded by September 30, 2009.

CHIPRA authorized $100 million to fund outreach and enrollment efforts designed to improve enrollment of eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP. $10 million of this money is set aside for grants to Indian Health Service providers and urban Indian organizations receiving funds under the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. An additional $10 million is appropriated for a national enrollment campaign. The remaining $80 million—which includes the $40 million now available—is appropriated for competitive grants to eligible entities for outreach to increase enrollment among minority and low-income children.

Indian tribes, tribal consortia, tribal organizations, urban Indian organizations receiving funds under title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and Indian Health Service providers are eligible to apply for awards distributing the $80 million in outreach and enrollment funds. Other eligible entities include states with an approved CHIP program; local government entities; federal health safety net organizations; national, state, local or community-based public or nonprofit private organizations; faith-based organizations or consortia; and elementary or secondary schools.

“We know there are millions of children who are eligible for coverage but don’t utilize their state health care programs,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, announcing the opening of the first funding cycle. “These grants will help community organizations, tribal organizations, as well as states and local governments reach out to children and families to ensure more children get the health care they need and deserve.”

Tribes and tribal organizations are eligible to receive outreach and enrollment grants in this first funding cycle and may also pursue the $10 million set-aside targeting Indian children, subject to certain limitations. Notably, the same (or extremely similar) scope of work cannot be funded by both grant programs. The grant announcement specifies that tribes and tribal entities will be required to attest that they will not accept funds from the targeted grants to finance outreach and enrollment activities that have been funded by a grant awarded under the current solicitation, and vice versa.

Please click here to access the application materials for the first outreach and enrollment grant funding cycle. Applications for the $10 million in funds targeting Indian children will be announced separately.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s American Indian law and policy practice provides legal and strategic advice to American Indian tribal governments and other entities that share a commitment to tribal sovereignty and economic development. The firm’s health industry practice encompasses virtually every aspect of federal and state regulation of the health care industry. The practice extends to include clients outside the health care sector that are affected by health care laws and regulations. Members of the practice have substantial experience handling issues arising under governmental health programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP.



If you have questions regarding this alert, please contact— 

Katherine Brodie kbrodie@akingump.com 202.887.4356 Washington, D.C.
Jo-Ellyn Sakowitz Klein jsklein@akingump.com 202.887.4220 Washington, D.C.