The U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, has issued final regulations [PDF] that govern the use of a child's or parent's public benefits or insurance (e.g., Medicaid) to provide or pay for services required under Part B of IDEA. The final regulations become effective on March 18, 2013. Among other things, the regulations clarify
...the parental consent a public agency must obtain prior to accessing a child's or parent's public benefits or insurance for the first time, and annually thereafter; and that the public agency must provide written notification to the child's parents both prior to accessing a child's or parent's public benefits or insurance for the first time, and annually thereafter.
ASHA advocated for this and is pleased that this will help reduce the costs and administrative burdens that state educational agencies and local educational agencies have experienced when requiring parental consent each time to access public benefits or insurance. ASHA will convene an internal team to review and analyze the final regulations, and develop a resource to assist members with implementing these regulations.
In response to ED's September 28, 2011, notice of proposed rulemaking [PDF] on this, ASHA advocated that, among other things, public agencies should no longer be required to obtain separate parental consent each time prior to seeking to bill or otherwise access Medicaid or other public benefits or insurance programs to provide or pay for services to a child.
For more information, please contact Catherine D. Clarke, ASHA's director of education and regulatory advocacy, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-498-2071, ext. 5611.