Udall Announces $1 Million In Federal Funds To Expand NM Children's Health Insurance
U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) announced the New Mexico Human Services Department is receiving $1 million in federal grant money to expand health insurance for children in New Mexico through Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The funding comes from the Affordable Care Act and will be used to to increase the number of children eligible, but not yet enrolled in, Medicaid and CHIP, and to keep them covered for as long as they qualify. These resources will be used to simplify the enrollment process for New Mexico families and help the state expand health insurance coverage that will start in January of 2014. “As health reform becomes a reality, these federal dollars will help our state expand health insurance coverage to thousands of children across New Mexico," Udall said. "Our state has an unacceptably high number of children without health insurance, and these resources will help New Mexico families gain access to Medicaid and CHIP programs and help keep their kids healthy while providing them with more economic security." Through the grant, the New Mexico Human Services Department will collaborate with partner state agencies, including the New Mexico Department of Health, to conduct training for its employees and help streamline the health coverage enrollment process for New Mexico children under Medicaid and CHIP. The funding is officially titled the "Connecting Kids to Coverage Outreach and Enrollment Grants (Cycle III) and is part of the federal government's "Connecting Kids to Coverage" challenge to insure an additional five million eligible uninsured children nationally, by cutting red tape; capitalizing technology; creating more opportunities to sign up, focusing on retention, and forging partnerships. These activities build upon grants first funded under the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) that Udall supported in 2009 and was later signed by President Obama. Those grants were aimed at modernizing enrollment and renewal systems to reduce paperwork and achieve administrative efficiencies. The funding is being awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). For more information, visit HHS's website by clicking here.