National League of Cities launches children’s health care initiative


The National League of Cities has launched a new, three-year initiative to help municipal leaders increase children’s access to health insurance coverage. The Cities Expanding Children’s Access to Health Care project will be launched with a $3.25 million grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies and is aimed at strengthening the capacity of city leaders to maximize children’s participation in public health insurance programs. The effort is part of The Atlantic Philanthropies KidsWell Initiative and will be carried out by NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families.

Through the initiative, NLC will provide in-depth technical assistance to city leaders and other key local partners as they develop data-driven action plans for maximizing youth participation in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Competitively selected cities will also have the opportunity to receive pass-through funding for their efforts to boost children’s enrollment in these vital programs.

The project will primarily be education focused, providing families and guardians with information about how to navigate the often confusing process of insuring children and gaining access to CHIP.

As part of the initiative, two regional leadership academies will be held this summer to provide training and peer learning opportunities to up to 20 city teams. From the group of 20, a smaller subset of city teams will then be selected to receive more intensive technical assistance and up to $30,000 in grant funding for the development of strategic plans for increasing children’s enrollment in health insurance. In the spring of 2014, NLC will then select up to six of these teams to receive continued assistance and grants for the implementation of their plans, with the average grant size of $260,000 per city over two years.