Increased access to health care services for children through the BadgerCare Plus program qualified Wisconsin for a federal bonus of $23.1 million for this year, federal officials announced today. The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) provides performance bonus payments to encourage states to enroll more uninsured Medicaid-eligible children and help offset increased enrollment costs. Wisconsin received the bonus from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) because the average number of children enrolled monthly in Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) increased by 121,000 between 2007 and 2010. Wisconsin received the second largest bonus in the country.
“When we implemented BadgerCare Plus, we made it easier for kids and many of their parents to enroll and get the care they need to stay healthy,” said Karen Timberlake, Department of Health Services Secretary. “By simplifying the enrollment process, Wisconsin has helped extend health care coverage to thousands of children who were already eligible for BadgerCare but whose families had trouble Influnavigating the complexities of the application process. Receiving this bonus payment confirms that we are on the right track with BadgerCare Plus and will help us continue to meet the health care needs of thousands of Wisconsin children.”
To qualify for bonus payments during a fiscal year, states are required to implement steps that simplify the program’s application and renewal process. When Wisconsin implemented BadgerCare Plus in 2008, new policies allowed families to complete only one application form for both the Medicaid and CHIP programs, eliminated the in-person application requirement, streamlined the benefit renewal process, eliminated the requirement that a family’s assets fall below a certain level for children to receive health care, and made it voluntary for BadgerCare Plus families to enroll in a program to purchase employer sponsored health insurance.
The performance bonus payments will continue through 2013, with qualification based on the increased number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP programs each year.