Na Niahe (Bridging the Gap): Assistance for Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment

Objective: To enroll 100 patients in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in the first year of the program (which was exceeded by enrolling 364 children the first year).

Description: Prior to 2011, the clinic only provided individuals with Medicaid applications along with required documents to be filled out personally by individuals. This proved to be problematic with individuals who lacked transportation, had troubles navigating the system, and felt intimidated by the process. To address these issues, the clinic applied to be an MA (Medical Assistant) site.  Being designated an MA site with the State of Colorado allows the facility to enroll qualified individuals in CHP+ (CHIP) and Medicaid on site. The site partners with Native agencies to help contact the targeted population (up to 21 years for Medicaid, and up to age 19 for CHIP). The CHIPRA team consists of one MA site manager, one enrollment specialist, and one outreach specialist. This team is responsible for educating patients on coverage.

Results: The uninsured rate dropped from 77% to 70% in 2011, with more expected in 2012.

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

Setting: Community center, Community health center, Mental health clinic, Parks & recreation, Primary care facility, School, Urban

Level of Intervention: Family, Individual, Community, County

Resources/Qualifications Needed: Training resources from the State’s Medicaid enrollment program, policy and procedures on the State MA enrollment program, and the use the Sage software for tracking have been the resources primarily used to support the program, and would benefit those replicating. Funding is provided by a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services CHIPRA grant.

Partners: Support from community partners who educate and refer prospective clients to Denver Indian Health and Family Services (DIHFS).


Adrienne Maddux, Chief Operating Officer
Denver Indian Health and Family Services
1633 GL1 Fillmore Street, Denver, CO 80206