Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) has received a two-year, $379,589 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a new Connecting Kids to Coverage program. LSEM is the only individual legal services organization nationwide to receive this grant funding.

Under the grant, LSEM attorneys and staff, including the office located in Union, will provide outreach and enrollment assistance for children eligible for free or low-cost health insurance from Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

“We want to thank the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for this grant that will allow us to assist so many children and families,” said Dan Glazier, executive director and general counsel for LSEM. “Under the Affordable Care Act, families have new health insurance options, rights and obligations. Our Connecting Kids to Coverage will help them navigate these changes.”

LSEM’s Lucas Caldwell-McMillan will serve as project manager. Two new outreach and enrollment specialists will assist him.

Through Connecting Kids to Coverage, LSEM will:

• Help families complete applications and gather and submit all required paperwork for Medicaid and CHIP.

• Track applications and help families follow up with caseworkers.

• Assist families in their communities, schools and homes to reduce barriers to enrollment in Medicaid and CHIP.

• Assist parents with applications for free or low cost insurance and tax credits from the federal health insurance marketplace.

• Work with key stakeholders to address barriers for families enrolling in Medicaid and CHIP.

LSEM has provided high quality legal assistance in civil cases to the low-income community for more than 50 years.

In 2011, LSEM helped over 21,000 people (including clients and their household members) in 21 counties of eastern Missouri. LSEM is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, and as a private, charitable nonprofit, receives and appreciates financial support from members of the public.