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March 10, 2009

CONTACT: Cathy Caldwell or Viki Brant (334) 206-5568
March 10, 2009
Alabama to Participate in National Initiative to Increase Coverage for Uninsured Children
Alabama is one of only eight states selected to participate in a $15 million four-year grant
initiative to increase enrollment and retention of eligible children in Medicaid and ALL Kids,
Alabama’s Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Alabama Department of Public
Health, in collaboration with the Alabama Medicaid Agency, will be leading the Perfecting
Enrollment for Alabama’s Kids (PEAK) project as a grantee of the Maximizing Enrollment for
Kids program. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will provide funding and support for the
Gov. Bob Riley stated, “I am committed to increasing the enrollment of eligible children in both
the Medicaid and ALL Kids programs. I have a keen interest in seeing that Alabama’s children
receive appropriate health coverage.”
Program leaders say Alabama was selected because the state has demonstrated a strong
commitment to increasing children’s enrollment in public coverage programs, even in the face of
difficult economic times.
“During these challenging times, we see this grant as an opportunity to think creatively to reach
more uninsured children in Alabama,” says Dr. Donald Williamson, state health officer.
Under the direction of the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), which serves as
the national program office for Maximizing Enrollment for Kids, Alabama hopes to increase
enrollment of eligible children to further develop and enhance existing community systems and
partnerships that assist families with enrollment and renewal processes. Alabama has been
making steady progress in its effort to enroll all eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP through a
variety of ongoing strategies. Examples include developing systems to streamline enrollment
with enhanced community partners (such as the Children’s Hospital in Birmingham) and
implementing a web-based application with electronic signature.
According to the most recent government data, 8.7 million children are uninsured in the United
States, with most of these children eligible for public health insurance, but not enrolled. In
Alabama, 78,000 children are uninsured, and more than 65 percent are likely eligible for lowcost
or free health insurance.