Governor Katie Hobbs Expands Healthcare Access for Ten Thousand Children, Advocates Praise as “A Positive Step For Arizona”

Published by The Bee News

February 21, 2024

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Yesterday, joined by parents, children, and healthcare providers, Governor Katie Hobbs announced the expansion of KidsCare for up to ten thousand Arizona children. Governor Hobbs secured funding for the program in the FY24 budget and, on Friday, officially secured a federal government waiver for the expansion. Governor Hobbs also announced the Parents as Paid Caregivers program would now be permanent, providing parents of children with disabilities much needed assistance.

  • Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced Tuesday that a change in state law, which got federal approval on Friday, will allow up to 10,000 more children in Arizona to qualify for Arizona’s KidsCare program. Hobbs has said that expanding access to health care is one of the pillars of her administration.

  • Parents had asked the state to continue the program and have said Arizona’s willingness to make that move shows it is “forward thinking,” and supportive of family caregiving. The parents as paid caregivers program will be an ongoing state general fund cost of $133,100, an AHCCCS spokesperson wrote in an email.

  • Hobbs said Tuesday that, despite the state’s dire budget forecast of a deficit of $1.7 billion, both KidsCare and parents as caregivers program would be priorities for her to continue. She will negotiate a budget with lawmakers for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

  • Arizona parents who have children with disabilities are getting some help from Arizona and the federal government.

  • Governor Katie Hobbs announced on Tuesday the permanent expansion of reimbursement for parents as paid caregivers.

  • An Arizona state agency, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), also got the green light from the federal government to increase the income limit for those eligible for KidsCare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in Arizona.

  • Now, parents with an income up to 225% of the federal poverty level can receive the benefits.

  • Last year, the Arizona legislature passed, and Hobbs signed, a bill to increase the upper-income limit for those eligible to receive the KidsCare benefit. Hobbs praised that bipartisan effort on Tuesday.

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