CHICAGO – December 17, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today joined U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on a conference call to announce that Illinois will receive a $9.1 million HHS performance bonus for its efforts to provide health coverage to uninsured children.
“Quality health coverage is a basic human right, and Illinois has long understood the value of keeping our children healthy,” said Governor Quinn. “During a time when so many people are experiencing the pain of the recession, it’s encouraging to receive a boost from the federal government so we can continue to provide even more children with quality healthcare.”
The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) provided funding for performance bonus payments meant to encourage states to enact policies that promote enrollment and retention of eligible children in health benefits coverage. The CHIPRA established performance goals for states to meet in order to qualify for the bonuses.
States must have implemented at least five program features, for example: establishing 12 months of continuous eligibility; eliminating face-to-face interview requirements; using a joint application for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and simplifying the process of renewing a child’s eligibility for Medicaid.
With this award Illinois joins eight other states in receiving the first round of bonuses for boosting enrollment in both Medicaid and the CHIP during fiscal year 2009.
Governor Quinn has made increasing healthcare for children a priority and has enabled them to receive comprehensive health benefits, visit the doctor, get prescriptions and have access to the medical devices they need to stay healthy.
“When we implemented our All Kids program, Illinois became the first state in the country to provide comprehensive health benefits for all uninsured children,” said Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry S. Maram. “Studies have shown that when children are healthy, they are more productive and successful in the classroom because they are able to focus. Every child has the right to be healthy.”
All Kids provides comprehensive health benefits that include doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, vision and dental care, as well as medical devices for uninsured children residing in Illinois. Under the program, parents pay monthly premiums that are significantly lower than those on the private market.
For more information about Illinois’ All Kids program, please visit www.allkids.com.