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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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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New Mexico - New Mexico Covering Kids
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Working with the Media
Message Strategy: What Is the Covering Kids Message Strategy?

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Updated: 6.1.06      Printable Printable version

The research supporting the Covering Kids & Families communications campaign shows that the biggest hurdle to enrollment is that many parents of eligible children are unaware that their kids qualify for coverage. Parents said if they knew their children were eligible, they would apply. For low-income parents, the most compelling reason to apply for low-cost or free health care coverage is to reduce the economic and emotional stress that results from parenting and running a household with limited financial resources.

The Covering Kids & Families message strategy is to let parents know that their children may be eligible for low-cost or free health care coverage through Medicaid or the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and to encourage them to get their children covered. What are the key elements of this message strategy? The campaign contrasts the benefits of enrolling in these programs with the consequences of not enrolling, but does so in terms that are positive and personally relevant to parents. It is important to be positive because parents are not motivated by scare tactics.

The following are research-based "connections" with the communications framework that will motivate parents to enroll a child in Medicaid or SCHIP. Therefore, these are the points that should be communicated:

  • Parents want to make smart decisions that improve the health and well-being of their children. Calling to apply for Medicaid or SCHIP will feel like a smart decision and will be recognized as such by others because these programs are low-cost or free, and ensure that children get the health care they need to stay healthy.
  • Parents want to feel good about the way they raise their children. Calling to inquire about health care coverage will promote this feeling because it is a step toward helping their children grow up healthy and achieve success in life.
  • By enrolling their children in a low-cost or free health care coverage program, parents experience the emotional payoff of reduced stress related to raising children and balancing finances.
  • Ultimately, parents desire peace of mind about their children's well-being and their household finances. This is the value of enrollment.

The Covering Kids & Families message strategy recommends that enrollment campaigns tap into the desires of parents to be good parents by urging them to make smart choices in raising their children and balancing their household budgets. The message strategy encourages parents to enroll children in low-cost or free health coverage programs, an action that will in turn reduce stress and bring peace of mind.

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