KidsCare & KidsCare II - Arizona's Temporary Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) ends January 31, 2014; Regular KidsCare Enrollment Update


Impact on the KidsCare Program

December 28, 2010
AHCCCS continues to work with CMS on issues related to the KidsCare program, including the impact of the Enrollment freeze. June 28, 2010
AHCCCS has received guidance from CMS regarding the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)on the KidsCare program March 18, 2010
Effective June 15, 2010, the KidsCare program will end. KidsCare is Arizona's Children's Health Insurance Program and covers children whose families have income between 100% and 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). The State does not have enough funds to keep paying its portion of this program. This program was funded jointly by the State and federal government under Title XXI of the Social Security Act. There are about 38,000 children currently enrolled in the program.

Loss of KidsCare or AHCCCS Health Insurance is now a qualifying event for an employer's group health plan.


AHCCCS has submitted the following notice to CMS:

AHCCCS Notice to CMS Regarding KidsCare Termination - 3/18/10

Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA)


On February 4, 2009, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA or Public Law 111-3) was signed into law. CHIPRA reauthorizes and finances the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through FY 2013 and made other changes to the CHIP and Medicaid programs. More information is provided below:
  1. CMS Denies Arizona's Application for KidsCare Bonus Payments
  2. Section 104 of the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) provides for a performance bonus payment to states that meet five of eight enrollment and retention provisions for children. CMS informed AHCCCS that it was deficient in two of the provisions to qualify for performance bonus payments. Below is additional information regarding Arizona's appeal of the CMS decision that the state does not meet five of the eight requirements to qualify for performance bonus payment.


    It is estimated the State would have received approximately $31.7 million over 3 years to help sustain its KidsCare program.

  3. Loss of KidsCare or AHCCCS Health Insurance a Qualifying Event
  4. The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009 made several changes designed to help people get or keep health insurance coverage. One of the changes allows employees and their families to enroll in their employer's group health plan without having to wait for an open enrollment period when the employee or dependent loses their AHCCCS or KidsCare benefits. The employee or dependent must:

    • Be eligible to sign up for health insurance through their employer. For example, some employers only offer health insurance to employees who work 30 hours a week or more. Someone who works only 24 hours per week would not be eligible in this example; and
    • Ask to enroll with the employer's group health plan within 60 days from the date the AHCCCS or KidsCare coverage ends.

    Contact your employer immediately if you think you may be eligible to enroll in their group health plan coverage and your AHCCCS or KidsCare coverage is ending. More information is available from CMS: Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA) of 2009, Section 311

For additional information about CHIPRA, visit the CMS website.

Federal Authority for the KidsCare II program expired on January 31, 2014. Originally, the program was set to expire December 31, 2013, but AHCCCS requested a one-month extension. Notices were sent to about 23,000 families with income between 100-133% FPL who transitioned to Medicaid effective January 1, 2014. Notices were also sent to about 14,000 families with income over 133% FPL who will need to apply for coverage under the Federally Facilitated Marketplace where premium subsidies are available for eligible households. Regular KidsCare remains in effect with frozen enrollment. Just over 3,300 children on regular KidsCare were transitioned to Medicaid and about 2,600 children remain enrolled in the KidsCare program. These households also received notices letting them know of their transition. Information about the KidsCare II program, for historical purposes only, is available on the link below.

KidsCare II Information Page


May 6, 2013
Beginning May 6, 2013, AHCCCS increased the income limit to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

November 1, 2012
Beginning November 1, 2012, AHCCCS will reopen enrollment in the KidsCare II program and all applications will be considered for eligibility. Eligibility requirements for KidsCare II will remain the same. Additionally, children on the wait list will be enrolled into the program if they meet the eligibility requirements for KidsCare II. AHCCCS will continue to consider all applications for KidsCare II until the program reaches maximum enrollment based on available funding. More information about the KidsCare II program is available on the link below or call the toll free hotline (operated by a Community Partnership) at: 1-800-377-3536. November 16, 2012
On November 1, 2012, AHCCCS reopened enrollment in the KidsCare II program and all applications are being considered for eligibility. Eligibility requirements for KidsCare II remain the same. Additionally, children on the wait list that was started Sept 7, are being automatically enrolled into the program if they meet the eligibility requirements for KidsCare II and do NOT need to reapply at this time. AHCCCS will continue to consider all applications for KidsCare II until the program reaches maximum enrollment based on available funding. More information about the KidsCare II program is available on the link below or call the toll free hotline (operated by a Community Partnership) at: 1-800-377-3536. September 3, 2012
The KidsCare II program reached its funding capacity the week of September 3, 2012 and is frozen until further space becomes available. All applications will continue to be reviewed for Medicaid first and if it appears the applicant may be eligible for KidsCare or KidsCare II, the application will be placed on the wait list. Should additional space become available, the KidsCare Office will contact the applicant’s household.

August 24, 2012
As of August 17, 2012, there were 18,773 children approved for the KidsCare II program. Based on recent application and approval rates, AHCCCS anticipates the program will reach its funding capacity of 25,000 children sometime the week of September 3, 2012. At that time, the KidsCare II program will be frozen until further space becomes available. All applications will continue to be reviewed for Medicaid first and if it appears the applicant may be eligible for KidsCare or KidsCare II, the application will be placed on the wait list. Should additional space become available, the KidsCare Office will contact the applicant’s household. For more information about the program call the toll free hotline (operated by a Community Partnership) at 1-800-377-3536.

August 8, 2012
As of July 28, 2012, there were 13,674 children approved for the KidsCare II program. Although original projections estimated funding was available to cover about 21,700 children, due to lower than expected initial enrollment AHCCCS now estimates up to 25,000 total children can be covered in KidsCare II. AHCCCS anticipates this number will be reached by September. At that time, applicants will be placed on the wait list so they can be considered for KidsCare II as openings become available.

As of August 1, 2012, there were 1,604 applicants on the KidsCare wait list. This number has been updated to reflect only applicants between 175%-200% FPL who were added to the wait list after June 25, 2012, when the KidsCare II program was opened to all applicants. Anyone who was previously on the KidsCare wait list was sent a notice and had the opportunity to apply for KidsCare II. AHCCCS will continue to consider all applications for KidsCare II until the program reaches maximum enrollment based on available funding.

June 22, 2012
Beginning June 25, 2012, all applications will be considered for eligibility in the KidsCare II program. Children no longer need to be on the KidsCare waiting list. All other eligibility requirements for KidsCare II will remain the same. The Public Service Announcement below was developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and has more information about KidsCare II. Feel free to share the link with your networks: KidsCare II Public Service Announcement

April 6, 2012
On April 6, 2012, CMS approved the new 2012 Waiver Amendment, which included funding for KidsCare II. KidsCare II provides coverage to a limited number of children who are currently on the KidsCare wait list, have income up to 175% of the federal poverty level (FPL), and meet other eligibility requirements. Additional details about KidsCare II, including eligibility and enrollment information, is available at the link below: KidsCare II Program