CHIP Reauthorization

 

 

 

On February 4, President Obama signed the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009.  The law provides $32.8 billion in new SCHIP funding for the period April 1, 2009-September 30, 2013.  The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will enable states to add four million uninsured children to the program, which now serves seven million.  Enhanced SCHIP matching will be available for children and pregnant women with incomes up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level as well as higher levels for states that adopted higher levels before July 1, 2008.   Coverage for most parents and childless adults at enhanced match rates will be phased out.  The new law includes a child enrollment contingency fund, up to 20 percent of the annual national allotment, with performance bonuses for states that implement outreach/enrollment best practices and surpass enrollment/retention benchmarks. These bonuses will be funded through a redistribution of unused allotments from states with lower growth.  The new law also allows states to accept “express lane” income eligibility determinations from school lunch, food stamp, and WIC programs, and $100 million will be available in special grant awards for outreach and enrollment initiatives.  The new law requires verification of citizenship/nationality status but permits electronic data matches for verification purposes and eliminates a five year waiting period for legal immigrants.  It also requires state annual reports on the program to include more extensive data on quality of care and consumer satisfaction, and it authorizes HHS to establish a program by January 1, 2010 to develop and disseminate model electronic health record formats for children.  PCG can assist states to evaluate the impact of the new legislation on their programs and to develop appropriate compliance plans.             

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