30 Dec 2013

Colorado Earns More than $58M for Leadership on Kids Health Coverage

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Improvements to CHP+, Enrollment Gains Result in Largest State Bonus

PRESS RELEASE – December 30, 2013 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that Colorado will receive a bonus payment of more than $58 million in recognition of its leadership role in getting more children covered by health insurance in 2013. This is the largest amount awarded to any state this year. Since 2010, Colorado has received more than $155 million in performance bonuses for implementing sound public policies that ensure our public health care programs work better for families and taxpayers.

“Getting kids covered – and keeping them covered – is essential to ensuring they grow up healthy and strong,” said Gretchen Hammer, Executive Director of Center for Health Progress and leader of All Kids Covered. “Bipartisan leadership in Colorado has helped cut red tape to make Medicaid and CHP+ work more efficiently and effectively. These investments are good for Colorado’s families and our state’s budget.”

Colorado was one of 23 states recognized for implementing measures that make it easier for families to enroll in public health care programs for which they are eligible. Common sense changes, such as streamlining applications and using information from other public benefits to determine eligibility for Medicaid and CHP+, improve the customer’s experience and increase efficiency.

Children’s coverage in Colorado is a health reform success story. Since 2008, Colorado has reduced the number of uninsured kids by more than 64,000 thanks to concerted efforts to expand eligibility and improve outreach and enrollment efforts in public programs.

“Many thanks to Governor Hickenlooper, state legislators and Health Care Policy and Financing Director Sue Birch for their continued commitment to and leadership on kids health care coverage,” said Cody Belzley, Vice President of Health Initiatives at the Colorado Children’s Campaign and leader of All Kids Covered. “This federal funding recognizes all the progress that Colorado has made, with an understanding that there is more to be done. As we look to 2014 and work toward other state health reforms, we need to keep our eye on children to make sure all kids have the quality, affordable care that gives them a chance to succeed.”

Earlier this month, All Kids Covered released The Future of Children’s Health Coverage in Colorado: Policy Considerations for Insuring Colorado’s Kids. The report details Colorado’s successes in kids health coverage and identifies seven priorities for ensuring continued gains in the context of on-going health reform implementation.

» Download the release