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posted on April 25, 2013 16:08

NEWS RELEASE--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                           DATE: April 25, 2013


Tom Shanahan
Public Information Officer
(208) 334-0668

Deadline Nears for Children’s Developmental Disability Services

Children with developmental disabilities who receive Medicaid services are nearing a critical point and could temporarily lose community developmental disabilities services if they don’t enroll in the new Medicaid benefit system within the next few weeks. Families must complete the enrollment and a service planning process before July 1, 2013, to avoid service interruption.

Beginning in 2009, the Department of Health and Welfare began redesigning children’s developmental disability services. At that time, Medicaid provided only two developmental disability services for children. Working with parents, advocates and the Legislature, a new array of benefits was developed to give children and families more choices as well as improved outcomes. The original Medicaid benefit package for community developmental disabilities services for children will cease to exist on July 1, 2013.

With legislative approval and stakeholder support, parents had two years to transition to the redesigned benefit package. To date, less than half of the 2,800 children currently receiving Medicaid-funded developmental disability services have completed the process. The transition and case planning can take up to 90 days to complete, and state officials are worried that many children may temporarily lose services.

“Change is always hard, but it is absolutely crucial that parents and providers not delay any longer,” says Dave Simnitt, deputy administrator of the Idaho Medicaid Program. “We have heard positive responses about the new benefits from many parents who have completed the transition.  But if parents don’t enroll now, there will not be enough time left to complete the process and maintain services.  We want to do everything we can to help families avoid a disruption of services.”

The Department of Health and Welfare held public meetings with providers, parents and advocacy groups about the transition and has sent numerous reminder letters to parents since the transition began in 2011. Parents should plan on an interruption of services if they do not apply soon. 

Parents who haven’t transitioned yet are urged to contact the Idaho CareLine at 2-1-1.