The Medicaid program is a state and federal partnership focused on providing medical benefits to uninsured or underinsured children among several other targeted groups. Since 1965, the Medicaid program has gone through periodic changes, including a large expansion of eligibility and federal funding due to the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid services are defined and accessed through a formal application process that includes, among other criteria, meeting low income eligibility. Each state, in concert with the federal Medicaid agency, develops eligibility criteria, the menu of services to be made available, and identifies the eligible providers of service. This is called the "State Medicaid Plan." The Medicaid program provides a good measure of flexibility so that each state creates its own Medicaid plan that fits with the population of the state.

Since 1988, Medicaid has permitted payment for certain medically necessary services provided to children under IDEA through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This means schools are eligible to be reimbursed for direct medical services to Medicaid eligible students with an IEP or IFSP if those services are provided by someone the state considers a qualified provider of Medicaid services.

Fact Sheet: Importance of Medicaid Funding for Children and Youth
This policy fact sheet provides a concise overview of Medicaid and its impact on children and youth.

Policy Matters Blog: Why Should School Psychologists Care About Medicaid?
This Policy Matters blog describes Medicaid, why schools should be involved with the program, and discusses the negative impact that would come from cuts to the program.

Related Resources

State Attorney Generals' Opinions Related to School Psychology
State Attorney Generals have been asked to offer opinions related to school psychologists and school psychological services.  This section summarizes many of these opinions, including the Oklahoma State Attorney General's Opinion letter related to the equivalency of school psychologists' scope of practice and licensed psychologists' scope of practice.

Profile of School Psychology Credentialing and Psychologist Licensing Related to School-based Psychological Services
It is recommended that every state gather information about the school psychology credentialing and psychologist licensing practices of their state. This Credentialing Profile will help states identify key information, public policy makers, and licensing and credentialing procedures so that school psychologists in each state are prepared to mount a grassroots advocacy campaign in response to changes in reimbursement procedures.