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US OKs End To Arizona Enrollment Freeze Of KidsCare

Federal officials have approved Arizona's plan to allow additional low-income families in need of affordable health insurance to enroll their children for coverage for services in September.

The action by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services follows Arizona lawmakers' approval of legislation last spring ending an enrollment freeze for KidsCare, Arizona's version of the federal Children's Health Insurance Program.

All other states already provided the coverage.

Arizona health officials estimate that 30,000 additional children will enroll in the first year. There's no cost to the state at least through 2017.

Lawmakers froze enrollment in Arizona's program in 2010 because of a state budget crunch during the Great Recession. This year's effort to lift the freeze was one of the most contentious fights of the legislative session.

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