One week after the release of Gov. Chris Gregoire's grim, all-cuts budget, the federal government has some good news for Washington's health plan for low- and moderate-income kids.
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that Washington is getting a $7.5 million bonus for a job well done on getting uninsured kids enrolled in Apple Health for Kids--and for making it easier for them to keep that insurance.
The money will be in the state's coffers by the end of the year and gets the governor two-thirds of the way to her goal of protecting Apple Health for Kids from budget cuts.
"This bonus award is recognition that Washington state is in the forefront of states that have made children's health coverage a priority concern," Gregoire said. "But the real value of the award is that in a time of deep economic uncertainty, these extra funds will help us continue our effort to ensure that all of Washington's children have health insurance. No child should ever have to go without health care."
Washington, one of only nine states to win one of these performance bonuses, had to get more kids signed up and take specific steps to streamline application and renewal procedures.
The Children's Alliance, which played a key role in getting the Cover All Kids law passed in 2007, also worked hard with state and federal partners to make sure Washignton got its bonus.
To read more about the performance bonus, including reaction from state leaders, read our fact sheet.
Read the Children's Alliance's press release here.
Read the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services release here.