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National News August 2, 2013
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Take the Stay Covered Challenge!

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is looking for collective assistance in solving a unique health delivery issue. According to the Urban Institute a total of 29.4 million people will have their health insurance eligibility status change each year beginning in 2014. These involuntary breaks in health insurance coverage are referred to as "churning” – when people transition from one source of insurance coverage to another when eligibility for assistance changes – and can seriously impact the administration and cost of Medicaid programs. The challenges outlined below are aimed at identifying these populations and creating innovative communications strategies that proactively help them maintain eligibility. Competitors will be eligible for winning one of six awards totaling $100,000.

SAMHSA is asking for you to direct anyone who might be interested in assisting with these unique challenges to where they can learn more about the challenges and the prizes SAMHSA is offering. Participation by policy research organizations, educational organizations, think tanks, public health graduates, data scientists, and impassioned individuals is highly encouraged.

The "Stay Covered Challenge” calls for the development of a marketing/outreach campaign designed for use by providers and community-based organizations in targeting individuals in Medicaid due to disability. For example, competitors should consider developing marketing materials communicating the importance of maintaining eligibility by responding to communications from the Medicaid agency, and by communicating to the agency about housing changes or other changes of circumstance that might impact program eligibility. The materials submitted as a part of the challenge competition will be evaluated as to how useful they would be in (1) targeting individuals experiencing or at risk of churn; and (2) fostering the use of the materials by the full range of providers and community-based organizations serving Medicaid populations with behavioral health needs.

The "Churn Marketing Research Methodology Development Challenge” asks competitors to develop a research methodology on how to identify actionable marketing data on this group. The challenge will not involve the development of communications materials targeting these individuals. This challenge tasks researchers with developing a methodology for identifying the marketing communications profile of uninsured individuals who have been disenrolled from coverage affordability programs but remain eligible for enrollment.

Solutions to these challenges can make a difference by increasing the consistency of coverage for millions of Americans. If you have any questions please contact Kevin Malone,

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