Iowa receives children's health insurance bonus - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa receives children's health insurance bonus

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -- Officials say a bonus from the federal government, plus a recovering economy, will likely eliminate a projected deficit in the Medicaid program for Iowa this fiscal year.

Department of Human Services Director, Charles Krogmeier, announced on Monday that Iowa's children's health insurance program received a $6.8 million high performance bonus.

The bonus recognizes efforts to simplify eligibility and enrollment processes for those applying for Medicaid.  In Iowa the program is known as the Healthy and Well Kids in Iowa, HAWK-I, program.  Fourteen other states will receive the bonus as well. 

"Iowa has long been among the nation's leaders in covering the health needs of kids in low- to modest-means families, and the bonus is well deserved. And the timing couldn't be better," said Krogmeier in a written statement.

Officials say the award means that legislators and the incoming administration will likely not need to fill an estimated $5 million hole in the Medicaid budget for this fiscal year, which ends next summer.

The HAWK-I program covers children in families with incomes up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, but about 40 percent of children who apply are eligible instead for Medicaid, which covers children in families at or below 133 percent of poverty.

About 30,000 children are enrolled in HAWK-I and about 240,000 children are covered by Medicaid.

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