West Virginia Steps Up Advertising of CHIP Program
Hoping to enroll more eligible children in the state's Children's Health Insurance Program, West Virginia program administrators have launched a statewide recruiting campaign that includes radio ads and direct mailings to low-income families, the AP/Charleston Gazette reports. Currently, 12,600 children are enrolled in the program, and in October the state received federal approval to expand coverage to include another 14,000 children (from 150% to 200% of the federal poverty level). "Many families had not heard about [the program], and no one believes things are free. At times, it was hard to convince the family to apply," Brian Cunningham, outreach director for the West Virginia Healthy Kids Coalition, said. Gov.-elect Bob Wise (D) had criticized incumbent Gov. Cecil Underwood (R) during this year's gubernatorial race for failing to spend approximately $10.6 million in federal money available to the program before a Sept. 30 deadline. West Virginia was not alone; 39 other states also failed to use all the federal money available to them. Underwood has claimed the program surpassed initial enrollment predictions. The advertising campaign will continue through Feb. 4 (AP/Charleston Gazette, 11/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.