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Spring 2002 Table of Contents
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Medicaid Simplification Bill (Senate Bill 43)

Reprinted with permission from March/April 2002 Texas Medicaid Bulletin, No. 161

Editor's note: Although this article was written for health care professionals, the information is also relevant to parents whose children utilize Medicaid funds.

On January 1, 2002, Senate Bill 43, the Medicaid Simplification bill, went into effect. The bill's purpose is to remove barriers to children's enrollment into and continued participation in Texas Medicaid. Key features of interest to health care providers include:

The eligibility period lasts a continuous six months. Children newly enrolled after January 1 will begin a six-month continuous eligibility term; that is, they will not lose Medicaid coverage due to changes in family income or size. However, children certified for Medicaid coverage before January 1, 2002, only will begin a six-month eligibility period at the time of their first Medicaid renewal event in 2002.

The Medicaid ID system will not change in the short-term, despite the six-month eligibility terms. Clients will continue to receive updated monthly ID cards. The Medicaid ID cards contain many other kinds of information for and about Medicaid children. Therefore, the cards will continue to be issued monthly.

Two important aspects of the legislation include:

If caretakers do not comply with these requirements, they will need to go to a DHS office for a face-to-face renewal with a DHS worker. Caretakers who comply with these two requirements will be allowed to complete their children's renewal process through the mail.

It is important for THSteps and Medicaid providers to understand the following determination made by the state.

A caretaker may claim to be compliant with the health care orientation and checkup requirements if he or she:

Therefore, health care providers are encouraged to allow as many Medicaid caretakers as possible to call and schedule checkups and medical visits.

To access other articles in the March/April bulletin, go to http://www.eds-nhic.com/downloads/m161.pdf.

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Last Revision: July 30, 2002