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Feds give Iowa $11.2 million to help kids get health insurance


This news story was published on December 20, 2012.
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has awarded performance bonuses to 23 states for improving access to children’s health coverage and successfully enrolling eligible children, CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced today.

Iowa received $11,206,040.

The performance bonuses are authorized under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA), one of the first pieces of legislation signed into law by President Obama.   States qualify for a bonus by implementing procedures to simplify enrollment and renewal to ensure that all eligible children have easier access to coverage under Medicaid and CHIP.

They must also exceed targets for enrolling the lowest income children.

“States are ensuring more children get the health care they need,” Acting Administrator Tavenner said. “We are proud to reward states that are reducing enrollment barriers and connecting kids to coverage.”

This marks the fourth year performance bonuses have been available.  The bonuses help states by offsetting the added costs of insuring the lowest income children and encouraging them to adopt sustainable improvements in their children’s health coverage programs.  Such improvements include eliminating face-to-face interview requirements so that applications can be filed online or through the mail, using electronic data-matching to reduce paperwork, and making it easier to renew, thereby minimizing disruptions in coverage and necessary treatment.

The 23 states awarded performance bonuses include:  Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.   Utah is receiving a performance bonus for the first time; the other states have received bonuses in previous years.

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