"Since 2007, we have expanded coverage to more than 300,000 Marylanders, almost half of them children, and this bonus is a great recognition of those efforts," said Lt. Governor Brown. "However, there is more work to be done, and Governor O’Malley and I will continue our commitment to expanding access to care because it is critical to improving the quality of care, expanding wellness and prevention strategies, and bending the cost curve."
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 2011 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).
"We will learn the lessons of this success for future efforts to help people enroll in health insurance in Maryland," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH. "We have a great foundation for further progress with the Health Benefit Exchange."
"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.
Since January 2007, the number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP has increased from 407,300 children to 545,200. Nearly 41,000 children were enrolled in FY 2011 alone, the year related to the CHIPRA bonus.
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Director of Communications
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
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