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HHS to Pay $296M in Bonuses to States Meeting CHIP Targets

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, December 29, 2011

The states that met the requirements are Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. All but seven of the states received performance bonuses last year.

Tavenner and Cindy Mann, CMS deputy administrator, said several states did not try to apply for the money, and many others did but fell short of having the programs in place or meeting enrollment goals.

States had to have five of these eight programs in place in order to make enrollment faster, and less bureaucratic.

  1. Continuous eligibility, which assures coverage to a child for 12 months, regardless of changes in circumstances, with some exceptions.
  2. Liberalization of asset (or resource) requirements in which the state imposes no asset test or allows administrative verification of assets by allowing the child or child's parent or representative to declare assets under penalty of perjury or through means other than requiring documentation.
  3. Elimination of in-person interviews.
  4. Allows use of the same application and renewal process for both Medicaid and CHIP.
  5. Automatic/administrative renewal
  6. Offers presumptive eligibility for children
  7. Offers express lane enrollment.
  8. The state offers premium assistance.

"All these efforts to cut red tape have really paid off," said Mann, CMS deputy administrator. She added that much of the streamlining has been made possible through electronic medical records, which avoid requiring parents to fill out multiple forms with the same information.

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.

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