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N.J. gets $22M federal bonus for enrolling kids in insurance program

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New Jersey will receive more than $22 million in funding from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a reward for streamlining enrollment for low-income children eligible for the children’s health insurance program.

New Jersey met five of the eight requirements set forth by CMS to qualify for the bonus. The money will be used to offset costs of enrolling the lowest-income children in the program.

According to an announcement, the state:

– Eliminated in-person interviews.

– Instituted the same application and renewal form for Medicaid and CHIP.

– Adopted automatic renewal using electronic verification.

– Uses presumptive eligibility to give children access to health care while their enrollment is being verified.

– Uses “express lane enrollment” whereby other public programs, like the supplemental nutrition assistance program, can be used to determine eligibility.

New Jersey also exceeded its target enrollment goals by enough to qualify for a larger bonus for the second year in the row, expanding the amount the state will receive.

The 2012 bonus is the largest the state has received over the four years of the program. CMS paid the state $3.1 million in 2009, $8.8 million in 2010 and $17.6 million in 2011. Overall, 23 states received bonuses in 2012, totaling $306 million. Idaho received the smallest bonus of $1.5 million, and Colorado received the largest bonus of $43 million.

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