Design, methods, and baseline characteristics of the Kids' Health Insurance by Educating Lots of Parents (Kids' HELP) trial: A randomized, controlled trial of the effectiveness of parent mentors in insuring uninsured minority children

Glenn Flores, Candy Walker, Hua Lin, Michael Lee, Marco Fierro, Monica Henry, Kenneth Massey, Alberto Portillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background & objectives: Six million US children have no health insurance, and substantial racial/ethnic disparities exist. The design, methods, and baseline characteristics are described for Kids' Health Insurance by Educating Lots of Parents (Kids' HELP), the first randomized, clinical trial of the effectiveness of Parent Mentors (PMs) in insuring uninsured minority children. Methods & research design: Latino and African-American children eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP were randomized to PMs, or a control group receiving traditional Medicaid/CHIP outreach. PMs are experienced parents with ≥. 1 Medicaid/CHIP-covered children. PMs received two days of training, and provide intervention families with information on Medicaid/CHIP eligibility, assistance with application submission, and help maintaining coverage. Primary outcomes include obtaining health insurance, time interval to obtain coverage, and parental satisfaction. A blinded assessor contacts subjects monthly for one year to monitor outcomes. Results: Of 49,361 candidates screened, 329 fulfilled eligibility criteria and were randomized. The mean age is seven years for children and 32. years for caregivers; 2/3 are Latino, 1/3 are African-American, and the mean annual family income is $21,857. Half of caregivers were unaware that their uninsured child is Medicaid/CHIP eligible, and 95% of uninsured children had prior insurance. Fifteen PMs completed two-day training sessions. All PMs are female and minority, 60% are unemployed, and the mean annual family income is $20,913. Post-PM-training, overall knowledge/skills test scores significantly increased, and 100% reported being very satisfied/satisfied with the training. Conclusions: Kids' HELP successfully reached target populations, met participant enrollment goals, and recruited and trained PMs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)124-137
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Adolescent
  • African americans
  • Child
  • Hispanic americans
  • Medically uninsured
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Medicine(all)

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