Don’t Lose Your Benefits: Ensuring Healthcare Access for Children

Access to affordable healthcare is a fundamental right, especially for children who are vulnerable and in need of proper medical care. In Arizona, the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is playing a vital role in providing healthcare coverage to children, even if their parents do not meet the eligibility requirements.

In this blog post, we will dive in to how AHCCCS continues to ensure healthcare access for children, highlighting recent developments and eligibility criteria.


AHCCCS Coverage for Children

One of the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic was the implementation of “continuous enrollment” for Medicaid programs throughout the country. In compliance with federal directives, AHCCCS adopted this policy to maintain coverage for its members during the annual renewal of eligibility. Consequently, no child enrolled in Medicaid lost their coverage during this period, except for exceptional circumstances such as moving out of state, voluntary disenrollment, aging out of KidsCare, or unfortunate events.


This commitment to continuous enrollment led to a 33% increase in Medicaid enrollment in Arizona since the start of the pandemic. It is a testament to AHCCCS’s dedication to ensuring healthcare coverage for children during times of uncertainty.


The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and Renewal Process

To adhere to federal regulations, AHCCCS must initiate the regular renewal process for Medicaid and KidsCare members. The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), enacted in December 2022, mandates this process. From April 1, 2023, AHCCCS will begin disenrolling members who no longer meet the eligibility criteria.


However, it is essential to note that even if parents do not qualify for benefits, children under the age of 19 are still eligible in most cases. AHCCCS and KidsCare programs provide coverage based on income, allowing children to qualify if the total combined income of everyone in their household is at or below 205% of the Federal Poverty Level.


Eligibility Criteria for AHCCCS Coverage


  1. Children who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) automatically qualify for AHCCCS coverage.
  2. Families with low income, regardless of disability status, may be eligible for AHCCCS coverage.
  3. Families with low income who qualify for AHCCCS KidsCare may also be eligible.


Moreover, even if an individual does not receive SSI, they may still qualify for AHCCCS coverage if they meet the following criteria:


  1. Reside in Arizona
  2. U.S. citizen or meet specific noncitizen requirements
  3. Have a Social Security Number or apply for one
  4. Have low family income
  5. All income will be considered, including part of parents’ income.


Community Efforts and Referral Services

AHCCCS recognizes the importance of collaboration with community partners, advocates, and members to ensure eligible individuals remain covered. Simultaneously, it is equally crucial to assist those who are no longer eligible by providing them with necessary information on alternative healthcare coverage options.


By working together, AHCCCS and its partners strive to create a safety net that ensures children’s healthcare needs are met, regardless of their parents’ eligibility status.


The availability of affordable healthcare for children is vital for their overall well-being and development. AHCCCS remains committed to upholding this principle, continuing to provide coverage for children even if their parents do not meet the eligibility requirements. Through continuous enrollment and the regular renewal process, AHCCCS strives to ensure stability and accessibility in healthcare services.


As parents, caregivers, and community members, it is our collective responsibility to spread awareness about AHCCCS coverage and eligibility criteria. By doing so, we can help children receive the essential healthcare they deserve, ensuring a brighter and healthier future for all.


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