AHCCCS Requests Federal Authority To Expand Eligibility for KidsCare  

Nearly 10,000 More Children Could Become Eligible for Coverage

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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 Public 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


Founded in 1982, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is Arizona’s Medicaid agency that offers health care programs to serve Arizona residents. Built on a system of competition and choice, AHCCCS operates under an integrated managed care model, through a Research and Demonstration 1115 Waiver. Contracted health plans coordinate and pay for physical and behavioral health care services delivered by more than 93,000 health care providers to more than 2.2 million Arizonans.

CONTACT: PIO@azahcccs.gov

Release date: Nov. 27, 2023

Posted in Advocacy and Regulations, AZBio News.