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posted on September 15, 2009 16:23

The Idaho Division of Medicaid has reviewed public comments of proposed rule changes for the Home Care for Certain Disabled Children (commonly known as the Katie Beckett Program) for children with disabilities, and made improvements to the rules which will now go before the Idaho Legislature during the 2010 session. The updated rule changes include:

  • Monthly premiums were recalculated to add more income tiers that allow for incremental premium adjustments.
  • A 25% offset of the Medicaid premium for families who purchase private insurance for children who are enrolled in the Katie Beckett program.
  • Implementation date for the new rules was revised from October 1, 2009, to February 1, 2010. 
The Katie Beckett program serves approximately 2,100 Idaho children with significant medical or developmental disabilities, supporting home care at a cost of approximately $37 million annually. Until these proposed rule changes, there were no cost-sharing requirements in this program that serves families with middle and upper incomes. The 2009 Idaho Legislature directed the Medicaid program to develop cost-sharing requirements so families with higher incomes can help pay an equitable share of the public assistance they receive.
 
The new premium tiers range from 0% for families with low incomes, up to 5% of gross monthly income for families earning more than 900% of the federal poverty limit. For an average Idaho family of four earning the state median income of $58,066, the family would contribute a premium of $73 per month. If the family also paid for private insurance coverage for an enrolled child, the Katie Beckett premium would be reduced 25% to a total of $54 per month. Currently, the average child enrolled in the Katie Beckett program receives $1,424 per month in taxpayer supported, Medicaid services.
 
The new rule proposal does not change any eligibility and all children currently enrolled in the Katie Beckett program will continue to receive all the services they currently receive, including school-based services. If a family suffers a hardship and cannot pay the premium, Medicaid can waive the premium.
 
A list of frequently asked questions outlining details of the proposed rule changes is available by clicking here.