States Rewarded for Giving Kids Healthcare Coverage

States are being awarded performance bonuses when kids’ healthcare status changes from uninsured to insured.   Kathleen Sebelius, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary recently announced that 15 states will receive extra money for their ability to provide healthcare insurance to kids via Medicaid.  The 15 states include Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.

Because getting healthcare coverage for kids is one of the Obama administration’s priorities, states that enroll the most new members are receiving the biggest bonuses.  To determine how your state is performing, visit this link. “Every state’s program is unique and has individual income eligibility rules and benefits covered, but in general, children in families with incomes up to $44,100 per year (for a family of four) are likely to be eligible for coverage,” Sebelius said.

Awards vary by state and are based on a formula set out in the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) but total more than $200 million this fiscal year.  Sebelius awarded $206 million to 15 states for making significant progress in enrolling uninsured children in Medicaid.  This year’s bonuses are more than twice the $75 million awarded to 10 states last year.“Today’s announcement highlights the ongoing and committed efforts by states to improve access to health coverage programs and take the aggressive steps necessary to enroll eligible children,” Sebelius said.  “Their actions reflect President Obama’s serious commitment to assuring that our country’s children get the healthcare they need.  These performance bonuses demonstrate our support for the effective strategies these states have undertaken.”

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