Ohio has been awarded nearly $11 million in bonus payments from the federal government for exceeding enrollment goals under the Children's Health Insurance Program, or children's Medicaid, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Monday.

Ohio has been awarded nearly $11 million in bonus payments from the federal government for exceeding enrollment goals under the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or children’s Medicaid, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Monday.

Ohio was one of 23 states that received more than $307 million in performance bonuses under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009.

“States are working hard to ensure children get access to the health coverage they need,” CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said. “We are pleased to provide financial support to reward states that are reducing enrollment barriers and are connecting kids to coverage.”

To qualify for a bonus, state’s must not only exceed annual baseline targets for children’s Medicaid, they also must implement at least five of eight recommended policies to simplify enrollment and renewal procedures.

Some of the policies Ohio has implemented over the past several years include using the same application and renewal forms, eliminating in-person interview requirements and means-testing in certain cases, as well as providing 12-month continuous eligibility.

As a result, 92,503 Ohio children were enrolled above the 2010 baseline target, 119,212 children were enrolled above the 2011 baseline target and 143,508 children were enrolled above the 2012 baseline target, according to the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Ohio’s latest bonus for improving access to children’s health coverage comes on top of $33.9 million in bonus payments made in 2010 and 2011.

“This latest award further illustrates Ohio’s continued success in modernizing its Medicaid program,” said Sam Rossi, communications director for the state Medicaid office. “By connecting more children to coverage at an early age, we are working to ensure longer and healthier lives for our young people.”

The 23 states awarded performance bonuses include: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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