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Parents Notified of Medical Assistance Eligibility Changes
April 30, 2002

In a letter dated April 22 the Department of Public Welfare notified a sampling of parents of children with disabilities on Medical Assistance of a proposal to change eligibility. The letter states that:

"The proposal would continue MA eligibility for children who, without supports, would require out-of-home placement, irrespective of parental income, but set an income limit on other families, using standard MA income calculations, and special allowances that would result in an income limit of about $100,000 for a family of four. The changes would be implemented after a regulation change taking several months, and then be phased in as families reached their annual recertification date."

The letter contains a questionnaire to collect data on disabilities and costs, in response to requests from the General Assembly. The Pennsylvania Health Law Project has also developed a questionnaire "To ensure the Legislature gets all the relevant information it needs to consider DPW's proposed income cap." The questionnaire is to be put on the Health Law Project web site.

Parents Involved Network of Pennsylvania lists several legislative actions that are underway to address the $100,000 issue as well as other issues related to children's services reimbursed by Medical Assistance:

  • A1311 Amendment - to restore money for "loop hole" kids- by Rep. Flick
  • A1701 Amendment - to require a study before eliminating the loop hole program- by Rep. Kenney
  • A1720 Amendment - to require public process before medical necessity requirements are changed for behavioral health services for children- by Rep. O'Brien.
  • A1686 Amendment- to provide $500,000 for an autism mobilization plan by Rep. O'Brien
  • A1771 Amendment- to provide for an autism registry by Rep. O'Brien.

For additional information, please contact Stan Mrozowski at PCPA.

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