As has been widely reported, Alabama was awarded $55 million for exceeding all expectations in adding children to the state’s Medicaid rolls. In fact the state added 133,000 more children to the rolls than projected by a formulated-based line. Alabama’s award was the largest and constituted one-fourth of the total amount awarded nationwide. For the second straight year, Alabama earned the largest performance bonus. It should be noted that only 15 states were awarded bonuses this year. All of this came about as a result of several years of outreach. Setting policies to cut red tape, thus making enrollment easier, was the primary reason for our state’s success.
The newly-created Express Lane Eligibility program was definitely an important factor. This was a classic example of what can happen when state employees in the various departments work together in a collaborative spirit. What happened in Alabama was state government really helping children. Alabama Medicaid and their partners at the Alabama Department of Public Health and the Alabama Department of Human Resources have worked together in-step to prevent children from falling through the cracks when it comes to providing basic health insurance. The fact that Alabama is one of only 15 states to receive a performance bonus, and that we are receiving the largest bonus, demonstrates the effectiveness of our program.
The bonuses, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are awarded nationally to recognize states which had implemented at least five of eight program features known to promote enrollment and retention in children’s health insurance coverage and had increased state Medicaid enrollment above a target set by federal law. The bonus payments were part of the 2009 Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization (CHIPRA) legislation signed into law in February 2009.
Methods implemented in Alabama include providing 12 months of continuous enrollment, removing the requirement for an in-person interview in order to qualify for coverage, streamlining the eligibility renewal process, removal of asset limits for children and pregnant women, and use of a joint application between Medicaid and ALL Kids. It’s really good to be able to report good things about Alabama.
Source: Associated Press
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