The funding comes from a key provision in the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009, which Cantwell worked hard to pass earlier this year as a member of U.S. Senate Finance Committee. CHIPRA extends coverage to children in working families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but too little to afford health care on their own. This performance bonus was included to recognize that successful efforts to enroll CHIP eligible kids can also succeed in bringing more children into Medicaid. Also included in this bill was Cantwell’s nearly $100 million fix for Washington state’s CHIP Program.
States qualified for the Medicaid bonuses by implementing at least five out of eight program features that promote enrollment and retention in children’s coverage for Children Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid. Some of the program features include providing 12 months of continuous enrollment, removing the requirement for an in-person interview in order to qualify for coverage, and streamlining the eligibility renewal process. States also needed to demonstrate that Medicaid enrollment among children increased above a target level. Nine states qualified for performance payments, with the total amount of federal payments totaling $72.6 million.