Family Voices Indiana is a family-led organization that provides information, education, training, outreach, and peer support to families of children and youth with special health care needs and the professionals who serve them.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Changes to CSHCS
FV Indiana is, with our members, deeply concerned about proposed changes to the income eligibility for Indiana's Children's Special Health Care Services program. The changes are outlined in the chart below. We became aware of them on April 21, 2009.
HOUSE HOLD SIZE
Equal To Or Less Than
* CSHCS 225%
Equal To Or Less Than
Each additional member add
* Effective for all applications and reapplications with application dates on or after 7/1/2009, the maximum federal poverty level allowed for eligibility for the program shall be changed to 225% from 250%. FPL’s of 226+ will be financially ineligible.
We have been working and will continue to work to stop these changes from being implemented.
On April 28th We sent the following letter to the ISDH:
Dear Ms Bowen,
Family Voices Indiana has been contacted by several of our members who are concerned by the upcoming change in eligibility for Indiana's Children's Special Health Care Services program. As outline in the attached document, the 25% reduction in income limits represents a significant change.
Children's has for many years provided critical relief for many Indiana families who are faced with the catastrophic cost of raising a child with a special health care need. We believe that a reduction in eligibility, particularly in the current economic climate, represents a step backwards in Indiana's efforts to ensure children have access to needed care.
That the Department of Health has chosen to make this change outside of a rule change process creates additional concern; removing the family voice from this process reinforces barriers to information and systems and undermines the family/professional partnerships that are the keys to continued improvement in meeting Special Health Care needs in our state.
Family Voices is also concerned that this effort to reduce eligibility follows several years when we and other family groups throughout the state were repeatedly told that the CSHCS program was underutilized. It is troubling that our "success" with promoting this important program would be met with an eligibility reduction. Additionally, we had hoped that thesuccessful efforts to increase the income eligibility for Indiana's SCHIPprogram to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level would have supported theability of CSHCS to serve more, not fewer, children.
Family Voices would greatly appreciate hearing a detailed explanation of thedecision to reduced eligibility for the CSHCS program and the process bywhich that decision was made. As some time is available to reconsider thisdecision, we would appreciate direction on how and to whom our families should share their thoughts and concerns about this decision.
Thank you for your prompt assistance in this matter,
Family Voices Indiana
765 676 9262
We received the following response on April 30th:
To: Rylin Rodgers
Family Voices Indiana
Thank you for sharing with me the concern felt by Family Voices Indiana and its members regarding the upcoming change in eligibility for Indiana's Children's Special Health Care Services(CSHCS) program.
In general this was an administrative decision that was based upon anticipated decreases in funding. However, before getting back to you with a complete reply or meeting to discuss this, I wanted to ask your patience, as we consider some new information that may impact this matter. Also, we are awaiting the final State budget, and, as you might imagine, Dr. Monroe and other ISDH staff are very busy dealing with the Swine Flu emergency preparations and education.
Our plan is to reconnect with the State Department of Health on Monday May 18th. If at that time we are not able to establish an process within which we can resolve our concerns, we intend to organize our members and other concerned families and professional to share their input both with leadership at the State Department of Health, and with their elected state representatives. FV Indiana is confident that concerned, involved families will be able to impact this issue.
If you are interested in participating in this effort please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org