Rep. Pascrell Announces $22 Million Awarded to New Jersey to Support Children's Healthcare
By Mel Fabrikant Monday, December 30, 2013, 03:21 PM EST
Federal funds awarded to NJ for improving access to children’s health coverage, successfully enrolling eligible children
PATERSON - Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), a member of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded the State of New Jersey a $22,429,198 performance bonus for FY 2013 for improving access to children’s health coverage and successfully enrolling eligible children. In total, CMS awarded has awarded more than $307 million in performance bonuses to 23 states across the nation.
“Today's CMS award will go a long way toward helping New Jersey improve healthcare enrollment for children that need it most,” said Rep. Pascrell. "As states across the nation continue to struggle with budget constraints, these federal funds will bring direct relief to New Jersey families and ensure our children get the appropriate care. Proper healthcare is something each and every child deserves, and I'll continue to fight to ensure families have access to quality, affordable options. Vital to that fight is ensuring that the Children’s Health Insurance Program is reauthorized, which I will work with my colleagues to do in 2014.”
In addition to reauthorizing the critical Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) established performance bonuses to give states an incentive to support enrollment and retention of eligible children in Medicaid and CHIP and to help defray the costs associated with increasing enrollment of the lowest income children. This is the fifth and final year of performance bonus awards.
Many of the simplifications emphasized for the performance bonuses – including elimination of in-person interview requirements and a streamlined renewal process – will be in place in all states in 2014 and applied consistently across Medicaid, CHIP and the Marketplace.
In order to qualify for the bonus payment, states must demonstrate that they have implemented at least five out of the eight program features identified in the CHIPRA statute that are known to promote enrollment and retention in children's coverage. These features must be in place for both CHIP and Medicaid. Some of these 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 and renewal process using "express lane" reforms. States must also show that their Medicaid enrollment among children has increased above a target level set in the law.
The 23 states awarded performance bonuses include: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
On Feb. 4, 2009, CHIPRA was signed into law by President Obama. CHIPRA preserves coverage for the millions of children who rely on CHIP and provide the resources for states to reach millions of additional uninsured children. Congressman Pascrell supported the creation of CHIP in 1997, as well as the program’s 2009 reauthorization. The current CHIP reauthorization expires in September 2014.