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February 20th, 2024
Grijalva Applauds Expansion of Arizona Children’s Health Insurance Program

TUCSON, Ariz. – Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Arizona’s amendment to its 1115(a) Medicaid demonstration which includes the approval of the KidsCare Expansion, allowing the state to increase the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) eligibility thresholds from 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) to 225 percent FPL. Arizona will also have the flexibility to increase KidsCare coverage up to and including 300 percent of the FPL.

Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) issued the following statement:

“I applaud today’s actions and Arizona’s efforts to expand insurance options for children in our state. This is a true moment for celebration as we have come a long way from when conservative state politicians froze the program in 2010 resulting in Arizona dropping to 49th in the nation for its rate of uninsured children,” said Rep. Grijalva. “It is fitting that Arizona is now cementing a reversal of that failed moment by becoming a leader and expanding income eligibility for CHIP which will open coverage doors for nearly 10,000 additional children in our state.”  

“AHCCCS has worked diligently to successfully obtain the approvals necessary to expand these

two Medicaid programs to positively impact the children of Arizona, especially those with

developmental disabilities,” said AHCCCS Cabinet Executive Officer Carmen Heredia. “These approvals showcase Arizona’s longstanding status as one of the country’s most innovative

Medicaid programs.”

Approval of amendment will also allow Arizona to continue to reimburse legally responsible parents of minor children for providing direct care to their minor children, helping to mitigate the direct care worker shortage and improve access to timely, effective care in the home and community.


In 2010, Arizona froze enrollment in its KidsCare program, resulting in it being the only state in the nation without an active Children’s Health Insurance Program, when more than 45,000 children gradually lost coverage. Since that moment Rep. Grijalva led federal efforts to reinstate KidsCare and worked with providers, hospitals, and other stakeholders to elevate the issue nationally.  

Congressman Grijalva slammed the political maneuvering that excluded KidsCare from the State Budget, and worked to highlight reports that proved the long term health benefits for children, ending the freeze on enrollment would create millions in economic benefits for Arizona. In 2016, he wrote to then-State Senate President Andy Biggs advising him that CMS would cover the full cost of the program and urging the program be reinstated. In 2016, KidsCare coverage was restored with budget stipulations.

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