KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

HHS Awards CHIP ‘Performance Bonuses’ To 23 States

News outlets are covering the end-of-year bonuses for the Children's Health Insurance Program in some states.

Bloomberg: States to Get U.S. Bonuses for Covering Uninsured Children
Twenty-three states will share $296.5 million in U.S. payments for encouraging low-income families to enroll their children in public health programs. ... The effort is aimed at children younger than 19 from households with annual incomes of as much as $45,000 for a family of four, though some states have more generous criteria. ... Maryland led states claiming 2011 bonuses with $28.3 million. Virginia was next highest with $26.7 million, followed by Colorado with $26.1 million. Connecticut, Georgia, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia were among first-time recipients for the money (Wayne, 12/28).

The Denver Post: Colorado Gets $26 Million In Medicaid Bonus Funds For Enrolling Kids
The money — funded through one of the first laws signed by President Barack Obama in 2009 — was announced a week after new data show the number of uninsured kids nationwide has increased by 1.2 million in two years. ... The state also lets children see a doctor or get a prescription before their application for insurance receives final approval (12/29).

Kansas City Star: Kansas Gets $5.9 Million Federal Bonus Over Health Care Changes
HHS says Kansas is being rewarded because it’s using the same enrollment forms for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Medicaid covers health care for the poor, while CHIP provides coverage for working-class families (12/29).

The Associated Press/Chicago Tribune: State Gets $15M For Insursing More Kids 
Health officials say Illinois has streamlined the process of enrolling children for health coverage. Applicants are not required to appear for in-person interviews, which can be difficult for parents who work. Illinois also guarantees eligible children enrollment for a full year, ensuring that they get uninterrupted coverage (12/29).

The Olympian: $17M Bonus For Insuring Children's Health
The Washington state Health Care Authority said today it is receiving nearly $17 million as a federal bonus payment for having enrolled children in subsidized health-care coverage. This follows similar awards of $20.65 million last year and $7.85 million in 2009, based on the state’s enrollment in its Apple Health for Kids program (Shannon, 12/30).

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