University of New Hampshire and University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies
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Medicaid plays a critical role in protecting the health and well-being of US children, covering half of infants and toddlers as well as two-thirds of children with special health care needs and disabilities. Since its inception in 1965, Medicaid has provided health coverage for low-income children. For some time, while many children with special health care needs and disabilities were covered under the income eligibility criteria, a large share were not. A major shift occurred in 1982 during the Reagan administration with the creation of the Katie Beckett program, which allowed Medicaid eligibility for medical services in the home (rather than in an institutional setting) for children with significant disabilities based only on their own income. Since then, home and community-based services (HCBS), have increasingly provided a vital safety net for children with special health care needs and disabilities and their families.1
2020-2021 Cohort of New Hampshire-Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program Trainees, "The Role of Medicaid for Children with Special Health Care Needs and Disabilities" (2021). Policy Analysis. 10.
2020-2021 Cohort of New Hampshire-Maine Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (NH-ME LEND) Program Trainees. (2021, April). The Role of Medicaid for children with special health care needs and disabilities. (PDF). [Policy Brief]. Durham: University of New Hampshire; Orono: University of Maine Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies.
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