Long ago, you called the proper state agencies to put your child’s name on the waiting list for Medicaid Waiver programs. One day, you receive a letter saying your child’s name has reached the top of the list and that you must contact the agency to get the program started.
Which of the following should you do?
- Do your happy dance
- Hug your child
- Get busy and keep this ball rolling
- All the above
The answer is “D” of course!
When the big day comes and your child reaches the top of the list, here are some important things to keep in mind:
- If your child is on more than one list, accept services from the first program that becomes available. You can stay on this program and switch later if your child’s name comes up on another program that is better suited to their needs.
- Respond right away. Contact information will be provided in the letter you received. File this letter in a safe place for easy reference. Also, keep a copy of any forms you fill out and return.
- For every phone call, make sure you note the agency name, the name of the person you spoke with, the date, and a phone number. Keep a record of all your communications in a file or notebook.
- When the service coordinator comes to your home to do an assessment, think about all areas of need. What services and supports does your child need to become more independent? What will your child need after they graduate from high school? What will your child need when you get older and can’t do what you do now?
- All but one waiver is based on just the child’s income. You will need to apply for Medicaid for your child if they are not already eligible. Fill out the application as if “your child” is applying, not the family.
- Take time to learn about Consumer Directed Services and the Agency options for managing your child’s waiver. If you select the Agency option, you can search for providers on the Health & Human Services website. Follow this link to review Quality Reporting on those providers to see if they have any violations.
- If you are new to the STAR+PLUS or STAR Kids Medicaid managed care programs, you will need to pick a medical plan and a primary doctor. See How do I start STAR+PLUS services? Or for STAR Kids, you should receive a packet with helpful information about picking a STAR Kids health plan. Make sure you pay attention to deadlines, or HHSC will pick a health plan for you.
- Network with other parents to find out what programs their children are on, what providers they recommend, and how their services are designed.
Learn everything you can about the services available through your child’s waiver program. This will help you make important lifelong decisions. It will enable your child to get the services they need and give you peace of mind about the future. You will find detailed information on Medicaid Waivers and other valuable resource information here.