Minnesota Receives Federal Approval for New Autism Benefit for Children

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently approved the Minnesota Department of Human Service’s Early Intensive Developmental and Behavioral Intervention benefit. 

The Minnesota news article states, “While Minnesota has provided supports in the past for children with autism spectrum disorder under Medical Assistance, the state’s Medicaid program, it has not offered a medically necessary intensive intervention benefit with early intervention services believed to be critical for children on the autism spectrum.”

Under the new benefit, covered services will be designed to improve social interaction, communication and behavioral regulation skills at a critical time in development, promoting fuller participation by children in their family, schools and community life.

The new benefit is scheduled to be available this summer.  The first years roll out strategy will serve an estimated 325 individuals with autism spectrum disorders and related conditions from birth to age 21 who meet medical necessity for intensive developmental and behavioral treatment. The number served is expected to grow to about 1,000 per year as provider capacity is developed.  The total first-year cost is expected to be $15 million, split between the state and federal government. As more children are served, the annual cost will grow in proportion to the numbers served, with a continued state-federal match; however, these early investments are anticipated to reduce costs over an individual’s lifetime, as early interventions decrease the need for more intensive long-term supports.

FMI Read the article at http://mn.gov/dhs/media/news/news-detail.jsp?id=252-160039

Questions about the new benefit can be directed to asd.dhs@state.mn.us.