The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will promote the Text4Baby wellness service during enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Text4Baby is an initiative of the Healthy Mothers, Health Babies Coalition; mobile platform vendor Voxiva, and 18 wireless carriers. Under the program, pregnant women and new mothers sign up for the service by texting BABY (BEBE for Spanish) to 511411, and receive pertinent free text wellness messages appropriate during pregnancy and then when caring for the baby.

Since its launch in February 2010, Text4Baby has sent 29 million texts to 300,000 enrollees. Now, concerted efforts have begun to encourage participation in the program during Medicaid/CHIP enrollment. For instance, enrollees in San Diego also can enroll directly into Text4Baby, the Florida Department of Health will place contact information for Text4Baby and the state’s CHIP program on envelopes used to send birth certificates to parents, and Oklahoma hospitals are encouraged to push Text4Baby enrollment when enrolling newborns in Medicaid. Medicaid and CHIP covered 43.5 million children in 2011.

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