Menendez, Lautenberg Announce $23 Million to Improve Low-Income Children's Access to Health Coverage

Menendez, Lautenberg Announce $23 Million to Improve Low-Income Children's Access to Health Coverage

NJ Recieves Federal Bonus After Increasing Enrollment in Children's Health Programs

WASHINGTON, DC-U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced that the State of New Jersey will receive $23 million in federal funding for improving children's access to quality health care and increasing the number of children enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The funding, through the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS), is a performance-based bonus from the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA).

"This federal funding will help ensure that all children in New Jersey, regardless of their families' income, have access to quality health care," said Senator Lautenberg. "We have made strides to improve access to health care for low-income families, but there is more work to be done to ensure that more children and all New Jerseyans receive the basic care they need."

"In New Jersey, we understand that providing children access to health care isn't simply a matter of allocating resources to a program. It is also being proactive enough to enroll eligible children in Medicaid and S-CHIP and making sure they receive the benefits that will provide the health care they need," said Senator Menendez. "This bonus could not have come at a better time to New Jersey, and I thank all who made this additional funding for our children possible."

Lautenberg and Menendez fought back Republican attacks on the CHIP program in the Senate that would have hurt New Jersey, and they successfully worked to reauthorize the program in 2009. The reauthorization allowed Congress to offer bonuses to states that enroll significantly more children in Medicaid and CHIP than expected. New Jersey will receive this additional funding after exceeding federal performance benchmarks and after making Medicaid and CHIP enrollment simpler for lower income children. With increased enrollment and renewal in both programs, the funding will help New Jersey continue to expand health care to low-income children and their families.

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