US gives WA nearly $17M for children's health

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The federal government is giving Washington state nearly $17 million for enrolling more kids in health insurance.

The grant is a performance bonus authorized by the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act.

The Department of Health and Human Services says Washington is one of 23 states to share more than $296 million in federal performance bonuses this year.

To qualify for these payments, states must surpass their Medicaid enrollment target. They also must adopt procedures to improve access to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

This is the third year Washington has received a children's health insurance bonus.

In announcing the bonus, the federal government commended Washington for streamlining its health insurance application process.