About Us

Message from the CMCS Director

Welcome to Medicaid.gov, your one-stop-shop for Federal policy and program information about Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and the Basic Health Program.

These critical health coverage programs serve millions of families, children, pregnant women, adults without children and also seniors and people living with disabilities. In addition to covering services like doctor's visits, prescription drugs, and preventive care, Medicaid helps seniors and people with disabilities receive long term services and supports in their communities as well as in nursing homes. Together, these programs provide an important foundation for maintaining the health of our nation.

Our team at the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) is passionate about the people we serve, and we are committed to working in close partnership with states, as well as providers, families and other stakeholders to support effective, innovative, and high quality health coverage programs. I invite you to browse our website for federal policy guidance information and data regarding state Medicaid and CHIP programs. We are also continuing to add new features, many of which focuses on delivery system reform. For information about applying for Medicaid and health coverage through the Marketplace, please visit www.HealthCare.gov or your state's Medicaid program website.  If you are interested in coverage for your children, you may also want to visit www.InsureKidsNow.gov.


Vikki Wachino
CMS Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services

Our Organization

The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services

The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) is one of six Centers within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CMCS serves as the focal point for all national program policies and operations related to Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the Basic Health Program (BHP).

Regional Offices

CMS Regional Offices

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has ten Regional Offices (ROs) around the country that are responsible for consistent implementation of CMS programs, policy and guidance.The management of the RO staff is organized in a Consortia structure based on the Agency's key lines of business, including: Medicare Health Plan Operations, Financial Management and Fee For Service Operations, Medicaid and Children's Health Operations, and Quality Improvement and Survey & Certification Operations.

Additional information about the CMS Regional Offices is available on the CMS website.

Consortium for Medicaid and Children's Health Operations (CMCHO)

The Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) works closely with the Consortium for Medicaid and Children's Health Operations (CMCHO) through the ten regional offices around the country as part of the state-federal partnership in administering the Medicaid and CHIP programs. Each Regional Office has an Associate Regional Administrator (ARA) for Medicaid that works closely with the state Medicaid and CHIP agencies in their Region.

Bio for Jacqueline S. Garner - CMCHO Administrator

Program History


Authorized by Title XIX of the Social Security Act, Medicaid was signed into law in 1965 along side Medicare. All states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories have Medicaid programs. Medicaid provides health coverage to nearly 60 million (check) low-income people and is one of the largest payers for health care in the United States. The Federal government establishes certain parameters for operation of the states' Medicaid programs, but each state administers the program, resulting in variations in Medicaid coverage across the country. Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act provides states the authority to expand Medicaid eligibility to individuals under age 65 in families with incomes below 133 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and standardizes the rules for determining eligibility and providing benefits through Medicaid, CHIP and the health insurance Marketplace. For a more detailed overview of Medicaid, please see A Brief Summary of Medicaid.

Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was signed into law in 1997 and provides federal matching funds to states to provide health coverage to nearly 8 million children in families with incomes too high to qualify for Medicaid, but who can't afford private coverage. All states have expanded children's coverage significantly through their CHIP programs, with nearly every state providing coverage for children up to at least 200 percent of the FPL.

Basic Health Program

The Basic Health Program was enacted by the Affordable Care Act and provides states the option to establish health benefits cover programs for low-income residents who would otherwise be eligible to purchase coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, providing affordable coverage and better continuity of care for people whose income fluctuates above and below Medicaid and CHIP levels.