Recommendations to Increase Program Participation by Coordinating Outreach and Enrollment Opportunities

By Suzanne Wikle

Connecting people to benefits they are eligible for has never been more important. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the struggle people across the country face to put food on the table, find affordable childcare, and pay their bills each month. Public benefit programs such as Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and refundable tax credits like the Child Tax Credit provide critical supports to help people meet their basic needs, but too often, individuals and families are unable to connect with and enroll in multiple programs for which they are eligible.

Significant new dollars are available for health insurance enrollment assistance and through local aid from the American Rescue Plan. Given these investments, now is the right time to strategically leverage and coordinate outreach and enrollment assistance streams to help people enroll in multiple programs. This brief offers recommendations to help federal policymakers, state and local leaders, and the philanthropic community do just that.