Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Public Charge Rule Went Into Effect February 24; Legal Challenges Still Pending

On January 27, the Supreme Court lifted a nationwide-ban (except in Illinois) on enforcement of the “public charge” rule, pending further appeals. The administration then decided that it would begin to enforce the rule on February 24. On February 21, the Supreme Court ruled that the rule could be applied in Illinois. Therefore, as of Monday, the rule is being applied all over the country, even though it is still being challenged in court.

The “public charge” rule from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) changes the way that decisions are made about whether to issue a “green card” to an immigrant already residing in the US, or to issue a visa to someone who wants to enter the country, extend their stay, or change their visa type. The determination about whether someone is likely to become a “public charge” (that is, dependent on government services) will be based on a number of factors, including income, health status, and the use of public benefits after February 24, 2020.
It is important to remember that the use of benefits, such as Medicaid and CHIP, by a person’s child or other family member DO NOT COUNT in public-charge determinations, and that many types of immigrants are exempt from the rule.

Also, the following benefits are NOT included in making in public charge determinations:
- The use of Medicaid for:
  • people younger than 21
  • pregnant and post-partum women
  • individuals, spouses, and children of those in the U.S. military or Ready Reserve
  • life-threatening emergencies
  • school-based health services

Immigrants should seek legal counsel if they are concerned about how the rule might apply to them.

Public Charge Resources (most of which are useful for families):

From the Family Voices Washington DC Update

Waiver Redesign-Deadline to submit feedback is April 17, 2020

Monday, February 24, 2020

Virtual listening session - BDDS Waiver Redesign Initial Concept Paper

Last month, the Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services released its Waiver Redesign Initial Concept Paper. Since that time, BDDS has provided a wide variety of opportunities to learn more and share feedback.
As part of this effort, BDDS will host a virtual listening session on the Waiver Redesign Initial Concept Paper. The session will include a brief overview of the concept paper with ample time for attendees to share ideas, suggestions and ask questions.
To participate in the Virtual Listening Session on Thursday, February 27, 2020, at 6 p.m. EST, please log onto URL:
  • Participants will sign in as a guest using their name.
  • Audio will be voice over internet, so participants will need to use speakers or headphones to hear the presentation.
  • Do not log into the webinar using Citrix or Virtual Private Network. These services will not be able to playback audio.
  • Prior to the webinar, please check your organization’s connection to ensure it has latest updates and add-ins. To do so, please click here.
For more information, including links to the concept paper and information on additional ways to provide feedback, please visit the BDDS Waiver Redesign webpage.  

The DDRS is a program of the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration. If you have questions about DDRS programs and services, visit us online at

Shine Light on Depression

Shine Light on Depression is a school-based, community health initiative between American School Health Association, Anthem, Inc., Erika’s Lighthouse, JetBlue Airways Corporation, and the National PTA. These organizations are collaborating to tackle the issue of teen depression and suicide in youth nationwide. The e-toolkit connects school communities with free, ready-to-use resources and tools designed to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention among middle and high school youth and families. The toolkit includes: classroom programs, family workshops, student clubs and a community connector to local resources.
Originally published by Covering Kids & Families of Indiana

Friday, February 21, 2020

Bill Seeks to Improve School Health Funding

A bill introduced at this year's Indiana General Assembly would allow schools to capture federal reimbursement for Medicaid eligible services currently provided to their students. Although Indiana currently allows for Medicaid reimbursement under Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Senate Bill 142 would permit the Indiana Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning to apply for a state plan amendment allowing school corporations to seek Medicaid reimbursement for medically necessary, school-based, Medicaid covered services provided under federal or state mandates.

In addition to those services delivered through an IEP, the legislation would allow reimbursement for services delivered through a plan under Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act, a behavioral intervention plan or an individualized healthcare plan. Also included for reimbursement would be medically necessary, Medicaid covered nursing services provided by a licensed and qualified nurse.

Senate Bill 142, authored by Senator Andy Zay (R-Huntington), successfully crossed over the first half of session but is currently awaiting a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee. This committee is charged with reviewing legislation for additional costs to the state. The most recent state fiscal analysis of the bill, however, shows no new state costs and reiterates that school corporations could see a large positive impact.

Further supporting this legislation is a Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) study of states that have implemented similar measures. Such states, including neighboring Illinois and Ohio, show Medicaid reimbursement funds recouped for their schools surpassing ten times the amount recouped in Indiana.

Those interested in providing their thoughts on Senate Bill 142 should contact the members or chairperson of the Ways & Means Committee as soon as possible.
Originally published by Cover Kids & Families of Indiana

Thursday, February 20, 2020

HIP Income Guidelines Revised

New Federal Poverty Levels (FPL) announced in January will go into effect March 1st in Indiana. The Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) released revised eligibility requirements in accordance with these new levels.