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Nov. 27, 2023

AHCCCS Requests Federal Authority To Expand Eligibility for KidsCare

Nearly 10,000 More Children Could Become Eligible for Coverage

PHOENIX – The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System is working with its federal partners at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to obtain approval to increase access to KidsCare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Arizona.

In 2023, the Arizona Legislature passed, and Governor Hobbs signed, a bill to increase the income limit for KidsCare eligibility to 225% of the federal poverty level. If approved by CMS, Arizona could enroll nearly 10,000 more children in KidsCare. The current income limit is capped at 200% of the federal poverty level.

In order to implement this change, AHCCCS is requesting permission from CMS to amend its 1115 Waiver, a contract with the federal government that allows the program to operate in Arizona. AHCCCS submitted its request on Nov. 15, and AHCCCS received a letter of completeness from CMS on Nov. 20, indicating the start of the Federal Comment Period which is open through Dec. 20, 2023. While waiver approval can be a lengthy and complex process, AHCCCS and CMS are committed to working as quickly as possible to implement the new income limit in early 2024.

AHCCCS included the public comments it had received on the proposal in the waiver amendment submission package and will continue to accept comments through Dec. 27, 2023.

Interested stakeholders can submit public comments to AHCCCS by email at waiverpublicinput@azahcccs.gov or to CMS through the Federal Public Comment Register.

Read the proposal and additional details on the KidsCare Expansion web page.

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