Note: As of July 1, 2007, Covering Kids & Families has closed. For current information about the uninsured in America, please visit RWJF Coverage.
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Covering Kids & Families

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About Covering Kids & Families
Are You Uninsured?

You and your children may be eligible for low-cost or free health insurance! Programs exist in every state and the District of Columbia. For information about low-cost and free children's health coverage, visit For information on coverage for adults, read the Guides to Finding Health Insurance Coverage in Your State from Cover the Uninsured.

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Covering Kids & Families is no longer open to subscribers. Please visit to sign up for e-mail updates on the issue of the uninsured.

Overview of Covering Kids & Families

Covering Kids & Families is a national initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) focused on reducing the number of eligible but uninsured children and adults through enrollment in Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). It is the nation's single largest effort of its kind. Since 1997 RWJF has invested nearly $150 million in two major initiatives to ensure that every child and adult eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP coverage receives it: Covering Kids and Covering Kids & Families.

The Covering Kids & Families initiative has benefited from the work of coalitions in 50 states and the District of Columbia with more than 5,500 member organizations. Covering Kids & Families coalitions include public officials, health professionals, educators, businesses, social service agencies, faith-based organizations; and others all working to ensure that eligible children and adults are insured through Medicaid or SCHIP.

See the Grant Results Report: Covering Kids®: A National Health Initiative for Low-Income Uninsured Children

The Covering Kids & Families Mission is Clear

The Covering Kids & Families Initiative seeks to enroll eligible, uninsured children and adults in Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Covering Kids & Families uses three proven strategies to enroll eligible, uninsured children and adults:

  • Simplification of eligibility policies and practices
  • Coordination of eligibility policies and procedures among different coverage programs
  • Outreach to eligible, uninsured children and adults

Progress is being made

  • The Foundation's efforts have helped decrease the number of uninsured children - from 11 million in 1997 to fewer than 8.3 million in 2005.
  • All 50 states and the District of Columbia administer a Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and 38 states and the District of Columbia have expanded eligibility for children in households with incomes at or above 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), which is approximately $40,000 a year for a family of four.
  • View evaluation reports commissioned by RWJF

More work needs to be done

  • A majority of the 8.4 million uninsured children are eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP, and many uninsured adults are eligible, too.
  • There are still obstacles to getting these eligible children and adults the coverage they need, including policy and procedural barriers and a lack of awareness about eligibility for public health coverage programs.

The Southern Institute on Children and Families, a private, nonprofit public policy organization located in Columbia, S.C., serves as the National Program Office (NPO) for the Covering Kids & Families Initiative. The Southern Institute provides leadership and direction for Covering Kids & Families statewide grantees and local projects.

GMMB, a strategic communications firm located in Washington, D.C., manages the communications campaign for Covering Kids & Families. This Communications Team works with coalitions to help them inform families about low-cost and free health care coverage.

Fact Sheet
Download fact sheets about the Covering Kids & Families Initiative.

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