Oregon is one of 15 states to receive a bonus award for making significant progress in enrolling uninsured children in Medicaid.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $206 million in awards to 15 states earlier this week.

Oregon’s award is the fourth highest in the nation at $15 million.

Funding for the “performance bonuses” was included in the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization (CHIPRA) legislation signed into law by President Obama in February 2009. The CHIPRA established two sets of performance goals that states must meet to qualify for a bonus – taking specific steps to streamline their enrollment and renewal processes to make it easier for families with eligible children to gain coverage and documenting a significant increase in the number of children enrolled in Medicaid.

Oregon qualified for a $15,055,255 bonus this year, an increase of $13,451,919 over the state’s 2009 award amount of $1,603,336. Oregon had five program features in place that aim at streamlining enrollment. Overall, Medicaid enrollment of children in Oregon increased 19 percent above the 2010 baseline (an increase of 40,373 children). Because enrollment gains exceeded 10 percent of baseline enrollment, the state qualified for a larger “Tier 2” performance bonus.

The significant increase in Medicaid enrollment for Oregon children is part of the state’s Healthy Kids expansion. Healthy Kids, passed by the 2009 Legislature, expanded coverage to an additional 80,000 children this biennium. Thus far, Healthy Kids has enrolled a total of 70,000 more children.

Families with uninsured Oregon children or teens are encouraged to apply for Healthy Kids online at www.oregonhealthykids.gov or calling 1-877-314-5678. Options are available for families at every income level.

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