Foster kids can use the ER anytime they need

Foster parents and relatives caring for children who have an open case with Children’s Administration were sent a letter on August 30, 2011 from the Health Care Authority of Washington. This letter was sent to all 680,000 households in the state who receive Medicaid which includes caregivers of children placed by the department. 

 

The letter describes some changes to Medicaid benefits that will go into effect on October 1, 2011. In particular, the letter states that that beginning Oct. 1, 2011, Medicaid will only pay for three “non-emergent” emergency room visits per year for each person with Medicaid benefits.

 

After the letter was printed, a decision was made that the emergency room limit would not apply to foster children and children with an open case living with relatives.  

 

At that point it was too late to pull the letters for children served by Children’s Administration mailing to the 680,000 Medicaid recipients. So, you will receive shortly a post card from the Health Care Authority clarifying that foster children and children who have an open case with Children’s Administration are exempt from this requirement.  

 

To be clear, the emergency room limitation:

·         DOES NOT apply to children placed by the department in out-of-home care with foster parents, relatives other caregivers.

·          DOES apply to adopted children who receive Adoption Support Medical.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact the Health Care Authority - Foster Care Medical Team (FCMT) at 1-800-562-3022, Extension 15480.

To call the FCMT:

1. Dial: 1-800-562-3022 (do not include the extension when you dial this number).

2. Stay on the line – do not say anything unless you need assistance in another language.

3. Say, “dial” when the system prompts you.

4. Next, the system will ask if you are a “client, provider, or other.” Do NOT respond to this question; just press “3” on your phone.

5. Wait to be transferred, and then dial 15480 when the system asks you to enter the extension. You will be connected directly to the Foster Care Medical Team. You may be asked to leave a message if all lines are busy or when calling after 5:00 PM.

 

Thank you for taking care of children and we apologize for the confusion on this issue.