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Health insurance: Ohio boosts aid to kids, nets bonus

Health insurance in Ohio expands to include more poor children. HHS awards $12.4 million bonus.

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Boys play basketball in the street in one of the lower-priced neighborhoods in Akron, Ohio, in this 2009 file photo. On Dec. 27, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced it was giving the state of Ohio a $12.4 million bonus for expanding health insurance coverage of poor children.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/File

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Ohio is receiving a $12.4 million federal performance bonus for boosting the number of poor children covered by health insurance.

The state Department of Job and Family Services has enrolled an additional 14,523 children since April in Medicaid, the joint state-federal health care plan for the poor.

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the bonuses for Ohio and 14 other states Monday that met goals for increasing coverage of children under Medicaid.

Ben Johnson, a state human services spokesman, said a key accomplishment for Ohio was speeding up benefits for people who were presumed eligible but who hadn't completed all the paperwork yet.

About 1.2 million Ohio children are enrolled in Medicaid, with another 100,000 or so who are potentially eligible but not signed up.