CMS Announces $50 Million in Capacity Building Grants for Medicaid/CHIP School-Based Health Services

This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity for the much anticipated planning grants to implement or expand school-based health services for children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. As we’ve written about in previous blogs, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act appropriated $50 million in grants for states seeking to implement, enhance or expand services delivered by school-based entities under Medicaid or CHIP. Over a year after its passage, we now have details on how state Medicaid agencies can take advantage of this opportunity.

CMS is seeking to award 20 states with grants up to $2.5 million each. A minimum of 10 grants will be reserved for states that have not yet expanded their school Medicaid programs to all students enrolled in Medicaid, regardless of an IEP. The remaining grants may be awarded to states with expanded school Medicaid programs that are looking to improve the quality and delivery of services. State Medicaid agencies from all 50 states and U.S. territories are eligible to apply for the grants. While the state Medicaid agencies must submit applications and manage implementation, entities such as state education agencies and tribal organizations may apply as subrecipients.

As a companion to the announcement, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona sent a joint letter to governors as a show of the collaboration they are seeking from state and local Medicaid and education agencies. In addition to outlining how applications will be evaluated, the letter also encourages states to amend their state Medicaid plans to take advantage of the flexibilities provided in the updated administrative claiming guide to improve reimbursement for Medicaid services.

Applications for the grants close March 25, 2024. You can access the official Notice of Funding Opportunity for the State Grants for the Implementation, Enhancement, and Expansion of Medicaid and CHIP School-Based Services, including award and eligibility information here.

Margaux Johnson-Green is a State Health Policy Analyst with the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.