Benefits Coordination Program

Objective: To promote and elevate the health status of American Indians to the highest level possible by employing qualified, culturally sensitive health professionals to provide affordable and accessible healthcare.

Description: A Mental Health Counselor created the Benefits Coordination Form to streamline client benefit enrollment. Before the formation of the Benefits Coordination form in spring of 2012, there was no systematic way to gauge community members’ need for enrollment services.The program uses case management to refer clients to Benefits Coordination through the initiation of the Medical Director.

The process actively enrolls clients in health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare through Benefits Coordination Referral, which provides a checklist of health insurance, employment, in-kind and cash assistance, and tribal enrollment resources for which clients may be eligible.

The outreach team (consisting of the Mental Health Counselor, Community Health Worker, and several nurses) actively participates in weekly community outreach to both engage new clients and build rapport with long-term clients within the community, and the Mental Health Counselor distributes the Benefits Coordination Form periodically along with information and updates regarding Medicaid, Medicare, and the health insurance exchanges.

Population of Focus: American Indian or Alaska Native, Adults, Adolescents, Children, Elderly, Limited English Proficient, Transition aged, Women

Setting: Community center, Community health center, Faith-based organization, Mental health clinic, Primary care facility, Reservation, Rural and/or frontier, Urban

Level of Intervention: Family, Individual, Community

Resources/Qualifications Needed: Posters, flyers, business cards, information sheets, outreach programming materials.  IHS and Medicaid cover the cost of this service for American Indian and Medicaid-enrolled clients.


Cassie Cleary, Mental Health Counselor
American Indian Health Services of Chicago
4081 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60613