BALTIMORE (December 19, 2012) – Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) officials have learned today that Maryland will receive a record state performance bonus of $36,479,184 from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for Fiscal Year 2012 because of its consistent efforts to identify and enroll eligible children in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Program (CHP). Last year, the state received the top bonus of $28,301,384 for its performance.
"Since 2007, we have expanded coverage to more than 365,000 Marylanders, almost half of them children, and this bonus is a great recognition of those efforts," said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. "But while we've made great progress, there is much work to be done. Governor O’Malley and I remain committed to expanding access, reducing costs and improving the quality of health care for all Marylanders, and we won’t be satisfied until every person, in every community throughout our State, has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life."
The bonus is granted under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) to States that satisfy two sets of criteria: States must have in place at least five Medicaid and CHIP program features known to promote enrollment and retention in health coverage for children; and States must demonstrate a significant increase in Medicaid enrollment among children during the course of the past year.
Maryland’s continuing efforts over the course of FY 2012 satisfied the requirements. Specifically, CMS recognized Maryland’s efforts to base eligibility on a family’s income alone (and not also on the family’s possessions); eliminate the requirement that applicants apply in-person; streamline the initial application form so that it is as simple as the renewal form; and allow proof of eligibility for other low-income programs to be deemed sufficient to qualify for Medicaid (which is known as “express lane eligibility” under CHIPRA).
“Heading into full implementation of the America Care Act, it is terrific to have this kind of success with the enrollment of kids in health coverage, said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, DHMH Secretary. Since January 2007, the number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP has increased from 407,300 children to 572,300.
“Ensuring that all eligible children are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP has been our number one priority, and this bonus not only highlights those efforts, but also will help us continue those efforts in the new year,” said Charles J. Milligan, Deputy Secretary for Health Care Financing.
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