My daughter, Casey, was on the Medically Dependent Children’s Program (MDCP). It is a Medicaid Waiver Program - now STAR Kids. It started around her 3rd birthday. Each year, our case manager would come and go over all kinds of stuff. We would discuss everything about Casey’s medical needs and home care. Therapy, medications, changes to her plan of care, and nursing hours. The visits were long and exhausting!
Besides going over tons of details, I got stacks of paperwork each year. As the case manager would go through each different stack, I would add it to the pile. I knew I was not likely to ever read them. A few things they gave me each year I knew I needed. I kept those handy. But most of the paperwork was overwhelming. I didn’t have the energy to even think about what all was in my giant pile.
I want to say Casey was at least 6, maybe even 7 when we learned about the Health Insurance Premium Payment Program (HIPP). During the annual review, the case manager made a note to ask me if we were taking advantage of HIPP. I told her no and that I didn’t even know what it was. After she explained it and we looked into it a little more, I wanted to kick myself for not knowing about this program sooner.
In a very short description, HIPP is a great way to save money. If your child has Medicaid as a secondary insurance (through a waiver, the buy-in, etc.) then you will want to look into HIPP. At first, there will be a good bit of paperwork. You will have to collect some of your insurance claims and send them to HIPP.
The way it works is the state will determine if your primary insurance is paying for most of your child’s medical expenses. If the state sees that, without your primary insurance, your child’s medical expenses would all go to their secondary (Medicaid), the state wants to help you keep your primary insurance. HIPP will then reimburse you for a portion of the premiums you pay to have primary insurance for your child.
Once you go through the intake process (again, a lot of paperwork) then you simply send in a request each month showing what you paid for your premiums and HIPP sends you a check. It is a wonderful program that I really wish I knew about sooner! Here is more information on the HIPP program.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.