Child Support Program Plays Many Roles in Minority Health
Two major health care dates are approaching rapidly: October 2013 when the Health Insurance Marketplace opens for enrollment and January 2014 when health coverage begins. I asked state child support programs to consider what this means for them. Many of the families that the child support program serves might not realize that they are newly eligible for Medicaid and other state health insurance programs or that assistance is available to make health insurance more affordable. It’s important to educate families about coverage options and direct them to appropriate resources that will help them with the enrollment process.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has resources to help states with their outreach campaigns around health care coverage. The resources offer brochures in several languages including Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog. The brochure provides ways for consumers to prepare for enrollment and offers important notes about the Health Insurance Marketplace. CMS has also conducted research on the most effective ways to communicate about the Marketplace to our customers. I encourage you to read “Talking about the Marketplace” to learn messages to use in your communication and outreach efforts to families.
In addition to work around health, we’re helping to improve access to and services for our Latino customers. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is hosting a Roundtable at the White House with Hispanic/Latino leaders later this month to discuss opportunities for collaboration with ACF programs, including child support. Latino service providers, advocates and researchers from across the country as well as key HHS and White House representatives are invited to participate in the Roundtable. Although discussions will center on increasing Latino access to human service programs like Head Start, Child Care, and other ACF programs, the Roundtable will also touch on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Latinos. The “lunch and learn” portion of the Roundtable will host an HHS official to discuss the impact of the ACA on the Latino community and offer ways we can help connect families and individuals to coverage.
For additional resources to help you engage with the Latino community, check out these:
- Child Support Hispanic Outreach Toolkit
- Spanish-language ACF Program Directory and Community & Faith-Based Guide to Resources
- ACF newsletter dedicated to Latinos, Infόrmate. It provides information on ACF programs, outreach, resources, and employment opportunities.
Vicki Turetsky was appointed as the Commissioner for the Office of Child Support Enforcement in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. As Commissioner, she oversees the child support program operated by each state and by many tribes.