Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Coordinated Care for Indiana’s Medicaid Disabled Population

Family Voices Indiana attended the Aged, Blind, Disabled Task Force meeting this morning regarding managed care for this population.
House Enrolled Act 1328, passed in 2013, tasked FSSA 
to report on managing Indiana Medicaid aged, blind and disabled enrollees
• This process laid the foundation for FSSA’s recommendation to proceed with a new disabled 
coordinated care program

These are the slides and information from FSSA

Here is a link to the slides that Indiana Medicaid Director Joe Moser presented at today’s meeting on our plan for Coordinated Care for Indiana’s Medicaid Disabled Population.

Please email us here ( with any questions.

Also – please note our Name the Program Contest – referenced on Slide #39! There will be a prize for a winning name! Get your entries to us by June 1st!

Feel free to contact us as well if you have any questions: 317 944 8982

Monday, April 21, 2014

Information about Freedom of Choice under 1634 Medicaid transition

Family Voices Indiana has been receiving calls from families who are being switched from Hoosier Healthwise to Medicaid Disability, outside of the waiver targeting process. We sought clarification from FSSA regarding this change and whether families had the right to stay on Hoosier Healthwise if they are still eligible for that category. This is their response:

Due to the 1634 Disability transition, individuals, including children,  who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) automatically become entitled to Medicaid based on the receipt of SSI.  For such individuals, the only requirement is receive SSI and individuals would not be required to be redetermined for eligibility every 12 months nor report changes as long as they receive SSI.  The new SSI-related Medicaid category is fee for service, traditional Medicaid,  to mirror the coverage that is provided under the Aged, Blind, and Disabled categories for which most of these individuals would have previously qualified for.   Please note, however, that federal regulations allow individuals to choose the Medicaid category that they wish to be covered under if they meet the eligibility requirements for that other category(ies).  Contact with the Division of Family Resources (DFR) is essential if an individual wishes to be covered under a Hoosier Healthwise category, if eligible.  Redeteminations and change reporting requirements would be applicable for all categories, except under the new SSI-related Medicaid.   The DFR is in the process of developing specific procedures for individuals that wish to remain in Hoosier Healthwise Risk Based Managed Care (RBMC), rather than be covered under the new SSI-related, fee for service category. 
Thank you for the opportunity to be of service. 
Communicatons Services Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

If you need further information or resources, feel free to contact Family Voices Indiana at 317 944 8982

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Special Education Services Parent Survey/Servicios de Educación Especial Encuesta para Padres

Family Voices Indiana shares the following announcement from the Department of Education:

All parents of Indiana students receiving special education services should receive a paper survey sometime during the second week of April 2014. This confidential survey will take five minutes to complete and measures parent satisfaction with their experience in working with education staff at their children’s school and the special education services their children receive.
Parents will receive a survey in a white business-sized envelope from their children’s school, either by mail or in person. Some surveys may also be sent home with the children receiving special education services. Even though parents will receive a paper copy of the survey, parents with Internet access are encouraged to complete the survey on-line by going to Parents with more than one child receiving special education services should complete one survey per child. Additional paper surveys are available to parents from their children’s school.
If parents do not receive a survey by April 21, 2014, they should complete the survey on-line or request a paper survey by contacting the person at their children’s school responsible for overseeing the special education services their children receive. Completed surveys should be completed on-line or mailed by May 5, 2014.

 Todos los parientes de estudiantes de Indiana recibiendo servicios de educación especial deben de recibir una encuesta de papel durante la segunda semana de abril del 2014. Esta encuesta confidencial tomará alrededor de cinco minutos y mide satisfacción de los padres con sus experiencias trabajando con los empleados de educación en la esquela de sus hijos, y los servicios de educación especial que sus hijos andan recibiendo.
Parientes van a recibir la encuesta en un sobre blanco por la escuela de sus hijos.  La encuesta será enviada por correo o entregada en persona con un personal de la escuela. Unas encuestas también pueden ser mandadas a la casa con los niños recibiendo servicios de educación especial. Aunque parientes van a recibir la encuesta en copia de papel, animamos parientes con acceso de Internet que completen la encuesta en la página:                               Parientes con más de un hijo recibiendo servicios de educación especial deben de completar una encuesta por cada hijo.
Si parientes no reciben la encuesta después del 21 de abril de 2014, deben de completar la encuesta por Internet o contactar la persona responsable que supervisa los servicios de educación especial que su hijo recibe. Encuestas completadas necesitan ser terminado por Internet o correo antes del 5 de mayo de 2014.

Friday, April 11, 2014

FSSA proposes Behavioral and Primary Healthcare Coordination program

Family Voices Indiana shares the following bulletin from Indiana Health Coverage Programs:

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), through its Division of Mental Health and Addiction 
(DMHA) and Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning (OMPP), is proposing an amendment to the Indiana Medicaid State Plan to implement a new 1915(i) Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program. 

The program, Behavioral and Primary Healthcare Coordination (BPHC), will be used to coordinate healthcare services for individuals with mental illness and has a proposed effective date of June 1, 2014, pending federal approval. 

BPHC is designed to assist individuals with serious mental illnesses who do not otherwise qualify for Medicaid and do not have other third-party insurance coverage for the level of services they need to function safely in the community. 

The BPHC program will provide supportive and intensive community-based services to individuals who demonstrate 
impairment in self-managing their healthcare needs due to mental illness. 

Potentially eligible individuals include those who are 19 years of age or older, have been diagnosed with mental health conditions, and have incomes below 300% of the federal poverty level. Individuals eligible for BPHC would include those who currently qualify for Medicaid with a spend-down but who will possibly lose Medicaid coverage when the State implements disability eligibility changes in June 2014 (see the related News Summary posted January 30, 2014, at 

IHCP members, who were identified as potentially affected, have been notified in writing of the upcoming eligibility changes. These members have been encouraged to apply for BPHC at local community mental health centers no later than April 1, 2014, to prevent a gap in coverage. 

The BPHC program will not provide behavioral and primary healthcare services directly to enrolled individuals. Rather, 
the program is designed to assist members in coordinating these needed services through Medicaid and other 
complementary programs. Units of service through BPHC will be reimbursed in conjunction with receipt of other 
healthcare services. 

More information about the BPHC program, the proposed state plan amendment (SPA), and the proposed rules can be found on the FSSA website at 

Monday, April 7, 2014

ACA Update: Closing Time

By Emily McKinley, Health Information Specialist

The gates are closed and the sprint is over. March 31 marked the last day of open enrollment on the ACA Marketplace for 2014. So, what’s next?

Moving forward, there will be annual open enrollment periods for those wishing to enroll in or switch to a new insurance policy. Open enrollment for 2015 is scheduled to begin November 15, 2014 and close on February 15, 2015. This will be the key time to purchase, upgrade, or change insurance policies.

In the meantime, what are the options?

Access state- and federally-funded programs. Indiana offers both Hoosier Healthwise (Medicaid) and the Healthy Indiana Plan as health coverage options for individuals who have low incomes. Coverage eligibility is determined by family income, applicant age (there are different programs for children and adults), and certain health conditions. For more information about the Medicaid programs offered in Indiana, please review our fact sheet:  It is important to note that many households may encounter a situation where only the children are eligible for coverage. In those cases, it is still important to apply for all eligible members to ensure the greatest coverage possible.

Individuals and families who experience a “qualifying life event,” such as the birth or adoption of a child, marriage, loss of a family member, divorce, interstate move, significant changes in income, and/or loss of coverage due to job loss or other similar circumstances, are eligible for a special enrollment period and may purchase Marketplace coverage at that time. Generally, special enrollment periods will last only 60 days from the date of the qualifying life event.

Likewise, if an individual or family experiences a significant change in income and is already covered by a Marketplace plan, it is important to report those income changes to the Marketplace. Doing so will ensure tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies are properly adjusted so that the reconciliation does not occur in full upon filing 2014 taxes.

The gates are closed, and the sprint is over. But, the marathon is just beginning. We encourage all consumers to empower themselves with knowledge about their policies, rights and benefits. Further, it is important to share concerns and positive feedback regarding your experiences and coverage with legislators and others as we continue to run this ACA race.

As we fall into a manageable pace, it is important to note that Family Voices Indiana will no longer be posting regular, monthly ACA Updates. That said, we’d love to hear from you. What are your questions, concerns, and experiences? How can we support you as you run your own race in this ACA arena? We’ll do our best to address those issues as we move forward.

As always, please visit our website,, or contact us at or 317944.8982, if you would like more information about the ACA or accessing other systems and services.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Resources for You

Each month, Family Voices Indiana provides the families we serve with a summary of the month’s hottest items. If you missed us on Facebook in March, here is the latest!

Brain Injury Awareness Month
Disability Awareness Month

Hemophilia Awareness Month
Trisomy Awareness Month
March 5: Spread the Word to End the Word Day
March 16-22: Indiana Severe Weather Preparedness Week
March 21: World Down Syndrome Day
March 25: Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day
March 26: Purple Day for Epilepsy
Family Voices:
Check out our Family Voices Staff Spotlights! This month’s page featured specialist Ofelia Jimenez’s daughter, Nataly Garcia, and specialist Cyndi Johnson’s daughter, Rebecca.
Facebook fans liked our many inspirational quotes. Be sure to check out our page for a pick-me-up. Also, we encourage you to share our page with friends using the share or invite features!
"It's hardest when your child is very young and you're still struggling to accept that he has special needs. So much about the future is unknown, although you've heard every single grim risk of his condition or disease. You wish doctors would just tell you what your child will be like, but they can't say for sure. You want to have hope, and you do, but sometimes worry and despair overpower it and you fear the worst."Read about ways to always have hope here:
"While your list will most certainly be different, creating a list of priorities and guidelines for your child’s hospitalization will make a huge difference in the care you receive. You and your child will be more comfortable, and it will be much easier to get the entire team on the same page." Read the article here:

Training and Learning Opportunities:
Family Voices works to fulfill our mission of empowering families by providing you with educational opportunities and resources. Check our website frequently for learning resources by visiting: This month, we shared the following on Facebook:
"Everybody's fighting some kind of stereotype, and people with disabilities are no exception. The difference is that barriers people with disabilities face begin with people's attitudes — attitudes often rooted in misinformation and misunderstandings about what it's like to live with a disability."Read the Myths and Facts about People with Disabilities:
For families of children with special needs planning for emergencies, like tornadoes, becomes even more difficult. Using this preparation and planning guide can help you be better prepared, no matter what the emergency or disaster:
"Parents realizing the importance of early intervention and the research behind ABA, often have questions about choosing specific ABA programs and providers." This article helps you understand what to look for:

Families who prefer information in Spanish and/or would like to connect with other Latino families are invited to check out our Spanish Facebook page:
We also host Pinterest boards; a YouTube Channel,; text messaging, text "FVIndiana" to 313131 for English or "FVIndianaEs" to 313131 for Spanish; a blog; and Twitter, Each outlet serves a slightly different purpose. We encourage you to try them all and use the one(s) that serve you best!
We have two major national conferences coming to Indiana this summer: The Autism Society of America and National Down Syndrome Congress. Conferences and trainings offer families a way to learn and recharge, as well as connect with other families. Paying for the conferences, however, may simply bring added stress. Our newest fact sheet covers ways to seek help with the costs associated with
conferences for families with children and youth with special healthcare needs:

Family Voices encourages you to use your voice to influence care, public and private policy, and educate others. In that vein, we strive to share with you opportunities to collaborate with others to improve the systems we engage. Here are some upcoming opportunities:
We're hoping we can learn from each other with our Tuesday Tips. We know you have a lot of ideas for adapting items, saving time and money, organizing and more. We'll start the conversation with some ideas, and we hope you'll add to the list. Let's try to make things easier for all of us! Join the discussion or simply browse the tips on our Facebook page.        

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Action Alert: Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act

Family Voices Indiana shares the following announcement from the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health:

The Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), held a hearing this morning (Thursday, April 3rd) to focus on the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act, introduced on December 12th, 2013 by Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA). 

Please contact your Senators and Representative, urging them to use this as an opportunity to create legislation that is in the best interest of ALL families and consumers.  (Contact information for your Senator and Representative can easily be found by visiting:   LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!

While the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health applauds Congressman Murphy's inclusion of provisions that would reauthorize the Mental Health First Aid Act (S.153/H.R.274), the Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act (S.116/H.R.2734), the Children's Recovery from Trauma Act (S.380), the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act of 2013 (MIOTCRA;S. 162/H.R.401) and the Behavioral Health IT Act (S.1517, S.1685/H.R.2057), we decry provisions that would effectively reverse the progress made in mental health treatment and support over the past 30 years.

For decades, organizations such as the National Federation of Families for Children's Mental Health have been working to add a more balanced approach to mental health services and treatment.  The National Federation advocates for the rights of children, youth and young adults who experience mental health challenges.  As family members, we feel it is important that our loved ones are able to receive the support they need while remaining at home and in the community.  We realize that mental illness does not affect just one person, it is something that the entire family experiences; therefore, it is crucial that initiatives are in place to support the entire family unit.

Rep. Murphy's bill magnifies the stigma of mental illness by creating an extremely biased link between mental illness and violence. Countless studies have determined that the relationship between mental illness and violence is minimal and that individuals experiencing mental health challenges are 11 times more likely to be the victims of violence than the general public.

The National Federation rejects the expanded use of involuntary outpatient commitment (IOC) and urges Congress to champion practices proven to be effective in facilitating a holistic approach to treatments and supports for children and youth who are experiencing mental health challenges and their families.

Finally, the National Federation strongly opposes legislation that threatens to essentially dismantle key efforts and programs of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which functions as the lead public health agency dedicated to mental health and addiction treatment, services, and supports. Transferring authority away from SAMHSA and decimating significant activities within the Department of Health and Human Services are not in the best interest of our most vulnerable citizens who are striving to be participating members of their communities.

The details in this bill reflect the continued, urgent need for a national conversation with individuals who experience mental illness, their families, and their communities to facilitate the creation of systems and networks that support maximal health, safety, and welfare for all community members. We urge Congressional leaders to take this opportunity to create legislation on behalf of their constituents that solidifies a bond among all stakeholders that highlights the dignity, respect, and self-determination of all individuals.