Family Benefits

Program Description

In Chester County one in eight individuals go to bed hungry and nearly one in ten adults have no insurance. Children who are living without essentials like nutritious food or health care face a tough childhood. It is not easy for them to learn and grow when they may be hungry or suffering from an unaddressed medical need. Research shows that children who lack the essentials during their early years may face long-term effects, including the need for special education – a costly expense that falls to taxpayers.

MCHC has helped thousands of disadvantaged Chester County families gain access to healthcare since 1995 through our Health Insurance Enrollment Initiative. More recently, we expanded our countywide enrollment efforts to include SNAP (food stamps) to meet the needs of the growing number of families experiencing hunger. Bilingual staff of our Family Benefits Program enrolls participants in resources that are key to their families’ health and success.

No family should have to sacrifice food on the table to be able to bring their child to a doctor. The Family Benefits Program helps families provide the basics – food and health coverage – in order to become healthier and stronger, but we cannot do it alone. By joining us, you can help make sure that families in Chester have the resources they need to do the world’s most important job: raise a healthy family.

The Family Benefits Program offers:

  • expertise in benefit eligibility determination
  • dedicated follow-up to ensure coverage is approved and maintained
  • training to social service agencies
  • enrollment assistance in 15 locations throughout the county

MCHC has been awarded a $1.5 million U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Connecting Kids to Coverage (CKC) grant to provide health insurance coverage enrollment and navigation assistance to over 11,000 eligible children and their families across Chester, Montgomery, Delaware and Philadelphia counties. Outreach and enrollment grants, such as this CMS-CKC grant, support activities aimed at identifying and enrolling children who are eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The awards, which will have a 3-year performance period, will continue to support activities aimed at informing families of the availability of free or low-cost health coverage under Medicaid and CHIP, identifying children likely to be eligible, and assisting families with the application and renewal process. Since 2010, MCHC has been awarded over $5 million dollars in CMS outreach and enrollment grant funding and secured health insurance benefits for 21,000 individuals across the four-county region. MCHC is the only organization in the Commonwealth to be awarded this grant for this three year period. “This is an important award for this region and an exciting time for MCHC”. It will help us reach over 11,000 more children and families in need of healthcare coverage as we partner with healthcare and social services agencies across the Delaware Valley and provide outreach and assistance. Many low income families struggle to navigate the healthcare coverage system and the paperwork can be daunting. Some get discouraged, abandon the process and opt go without healthcare because they do not have health coverage. The assistance we provide to make sure they have coverage helps children and families stay healthy.

Impact

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GivingTuesdayNow is on May 5th

MCHC continues providing services during this difficult time. We are grateful for your support. Our program participants are receiving services remotely during this public health crisis either through (IVC) interactive video conferencing using WhatsApp application to have two way, real-time, audiovisual communication between MCHC staff members and Family (parent and target child and others) or through telecommunication (audio phone calls) and following the guidelines from "Parents and Teachers curriculum" during this difficult time; ensuring staff is able to share important COVID-19 information as the situation evolves. Our staff is able to support the majority of parents who are at home with their children and provide them with interactive activities that are conducive to their children’s learning and development. In addition, the staff is directing and providing different resources including healthcare access to families in different communities. Your generosity is making a huge difference in the life of many children. We are providing support to families around the County with basic items including diapers, formula, personal care items, and food box donations. Just in the past month, MCHC staff have delivered over 85 food boxes from Chester County Food Bank, diapers, formula, and other baby items and we estimate an increasing need in the coming weeks. Family Benefit Specialists continue doing Health Insurance and SNAP benefits enrollments on a daily basis. While many other local human service organizations are closed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, our capacity to support families virtually allowed us to adjust our program structure within a week. Support from donors like you will enable us to sustain our program infrastructure and support our staff as we continue serving vulnerable families in our community.