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TRENTON – The Christie Administration today announced the state will receive more than $22 million in federal Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) bonus funds for its strategies to enroll uninsured children in government subsidized health insurance programs administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS).
“This performance bonus really validates the efforts New Jersey has advanced to outreach families with uninsured children,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “Parents are enrolling their children because they recognize the importance of immunizations, regular check-ups, prescriptions and dental care to their health and well-being.”
The performance bonus comes from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). It applies to enrollment increases and the number of CMS-approved initiatives a state pursued to connect eligible communities with Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare between October 2012 and September 2013. If a state exceeds CMS’ projected growth estimates, it qualifies for the additional benefit.
This is the fifth consecutive year New Jersey has received a performance bonus. This year, the total was $ 22,429,198.
“We’re extremely pleased with our continued progress in outreaching and enrolling uninsured children through innovative strategies,” said Valerie Harr, Director of DHS’ Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, which oversees Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare. “The state is committed to building upon its intra-government and community-based partnerships to promote the program and enroll every eligible child.”
New Jersey’s CHIPRA bonus was based on the average monthly enrollment for select child populations during the federal fiscal year ending each September. The average monthly enrollment for the year ending September 2012 to the year ending September 2013 increased by over 12,000 children. As of December 2013, the NJ FamilyCare program collectively insures about 753,000 children, statewide.
This was made possible through the following strategies:
- Making an online application available, eliminating the need for in-person interviews to apply
- Using the same one-page application for Medicaid and CHIP
- Having presumptive eligibility for uninsured children receiving health care services in hospital emergency rooms or clinics
- Implementing express lane enrollment in partnership with the state Departments of Treasury and Education - using state tax returns to ascertain families without health insurance whose children would qualify based on reported income and outreaching families identified through school documents to have an uninsured child
- Using automatic or administrative renewal
The bonus is expected to be distributed in early 2014 and added to the state’s General Fund.
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