Text4baby to help CMS promote Medicare, CHIP enrollment

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services are looking to the text4baby program to help boost enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced on Tuesday.

Essentially, women who already receive messages from the text4baby program now also will receive text messages boasting health coverage available via Medicaid and CHIP. According to the announcement, more than 184,000 users already have received such messages, with phone numbers and website information.

Text4baby has sent more than 29 million text messages to roughly 300,000 program enrollees, according to Health Data Management.

The effort is part of activities celebrating the anniversaries of both the start of the text4baby program and the signing of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009, according to the announcement. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the effort will help to keep mothers and their babies healthy and informed.

Program activities already have kicked off in a handful of states, including California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and Oklahoma.

According to a study published last November from researchers at the University of California, San Diego and California State University in San Marcos, text4baby has also been very successful in jumpstarting conversations between expectant mothers and their doctors.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement
- read the Health Data Management article