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Help Protect Millions of Students from Losing Medicaid Coverage

Thriving Schools Program Lead, Student Behavioral Health

About half of the nation’s children are covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). However, right now students across the country who rely on this coverage for health insurance risk losing it due to the ending of the public health emergency. Schools can play a key role in ensuring that doesn’t happen.

Since the pandemic’s public health emergency began in March 2020, children and families enrolled in Medicaid have not been required to complete renewal paperwork to stay covered. This continuous coverage ended April 1, 2023 and states have resumed reviewing eligibility for all people enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP to ensure they still qualify.

During this process, known as the “unwinding,” it is estimated that over 5 million children are at risk of losing their health insurance coverage despite most of them continuing to be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. It’s estimated that the uninsured rate for children could easily more than double. Unless we take action.

Kaiser Permanente is working to ensure individuals covered by Medicaid and CHIP do not lose coverage. Our resources on and this Medicaid redetermination explanation video support partners in their efforts to keep eligible individuals covered.

Schools are one of those partners, and can play a key role in supporting students and their families in maintaining and enrolling in coverage. School staff and district administrators are some of the most consistent, trusted messengers with established methods of communicating key information to families.

Sharing Medicaid and CHIP enrollment resources with schools and ensuring education leaders and staff are aware of the impact this change can have on their students and families is a key strategy to address the end of continuous coverage. Fortunately, there is no shortage of excellent resources available to support this work.

  • The School Superintendents Association (AASA), Georgetown Center for Children and Families, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities developed a toolkit designed for schools and districts to help ensure children and their families stay connected with their coverage. The toolkit includes backpack fliers, newsletter blurbs, robocall scripts and social media posts.
  • The Connecting Kids to Coverage National Campaign developed school-based outreach materials to support schools as partners in reaching and enrolling families with children who are eligible for Medicaid and CHIP.
  • AHIP, a national association whose members provide health care coverage, services, and solutions, shares examples of innovative efforts from health insurance providers.

Ensuring the nation’s children have health insurance coverage to keep them safe and healthy is critical. It’s up to all of us to share information, and support schools, districts, and families in getting out the important information they need to ensure children remain covered.

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