KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

CMS Awards $306M To States For Enrolling More Kids In Medicaid

The Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services on Wednesday awarded $306 million in bonuses to 23 states for enrolling more children in Medicaid. The move is meant to help offset the expense of covering more kids in the state-federal health care program.

CQ HealthBeat: Take A Bow: 23 States Get Bonuses For CHIP, Medicaid Programs
The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday announced that 23 states qualified for $306 million in performance bonuses for their gains in signing up low-income children for health coverage, including Utah for the first time. The bonuses come as states and the federal government work on setting up health insurance exchanges that will begin operation in 2014 and are intended to make enrollment in public programs even smoother. According to an Urban Institute study published earlier this month, 86 percent of eligible children were signed up for CHIP and Medicaid in 2010, an increase from 81.7 percent in 2008 (Norman, 12/19).

The Denver Post: Colorado Wins $43 Million Medicaid Bonus For Its Kids Programs
Colorado won a $43 million bonus from federal Medicaid officials Wednesday as reward for enrolling more children in the insurance program, the largest of awards to 23 states. The bonuses are meant to help offset the added expenses states incur when they increase the number of children with state insurance. Medicaid costs are split evenly between federal and state governments (Booth, 12/19).

The Lund Report: Oregon Receives $25.8 Million In Performance Bonus From CMS
Lawmakers will have $25.8 million at their disposal when the legislature convenes next February -- with no strings attached. Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services made the announcement, saying Oregon is among 23 states receiving performance bonuses for enrolling children in its Medicaid program, known as the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In Oregon, that meant 289,802 children participated in that program during fiscal 2012. “No decisions have been made about how this money will be spent,” said Alissa Robbins, spokesperson for the Oregon Health Authority (Lund-Muzikant, 12/20).

Georgia Health News: State Gets (Smaller) Bonus For Kids' Enrollment
Georgia is one of 23 states that will receive a performance bonus for enrolling eligible children in government health insurance programs, but the amount is far less than last year’s award. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Wednesday that Georgia will receive a bonus of $1.9 million. The state’s bonus last year was almost $5 million. 2011 was the first year that Georgia got this performance bonus, funded under legislation that reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). A state qualifies for a federal bonus by implementing procedures to simplify enrollment and renewal to ensure that all eligible children have easier access to coverage under Medicaid and CHIP, which in Georgia is known as PeachCare (Miller, 12/19).

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