Medical Benefits and Requirements for Foster Children
Foster parents should receive a temporary medical card with a documented medicaid number and permission to grant emergency medical authorization along with medical passports at the time of placement. Permanent medicaid cards will arrive several weeks after placement.
All foster children are automatically eligible for Medicaid. Your case worker is responsible for setting up medical coverage and foster parents may not contact medicaid on behalf of the foster child. If your case worker is having trouble initiating benefits or if the child has special circumstances you can call the DHHS regional medical liaisons for assistance.
Community Mental Health (CMH) - Your local CMH has access to Medicaid paid benefits that other mental health providers do not, such as increased coverage for more frequent appointments, respite services and other specialized programs.
SED Waiver - A Home and Community-based Services Waiver for Children with Serious Emotional Disturbances, can help with respite or community living supports in your home.
Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) is a program within the Michigan Department of Community Health. It is for children and some adults with special health care needs and their families.
Health Liaison Officers
Click on the document below to view a list of Health Liaison Officers contact information. These liaisons are MDHHS employees and they can help with medical coverage, prescription and billing problems when the DHHS monitor is not able to resolve the issue.
Mandatory Child Well Visits
You must have a documented child well visit within 30 days of initial placement and then at least annually after the initial appointment (more frequently for infants)
Confirm which doctor you will be using with your worker. Normally you can use the child's current doctor, your family doctor, or another provider of choice.
If you are not using the child's current doctor, it may be required to change the primary care physician and this can only be done by the case worker
Take your placement letter, ID, temporary medical form and a list of any current medications to the appointment.
DON'T FORGET the Well Child Form provided by your agency or you can find it on the MDHHS website by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.
Foster Parent Tip!
If your case worker is having trouble initiating benefits or if the child has special circumstances you can call the DHHS regional medical liaisons for assistance. The list is published here.
Mandatory Dentist Visit for Children Age 3 and Older Before 90 Days
You must have a documented dentist appointment within 90 days of initial placement and then annually after the initial appointment
Find a dentist that accepts the child insurance. You can call the Medicaid help line to find a participating provider in your area: Medicaid Customer Services Hotline: 1-800- 642-3195
Provide your placement letter, ID and temporary medical form to the office at the time of the appointment.
Bring the dental exam form from your agency – This is mandatory! You can find a copy here.
Foster Parent Tip!
Often times children in care require extensive dental work and if there is a requirement get a letter from the provider detailing any “medically necessary” dental work. Provide this letter to the agency and the GAL for immediate review and planning.
Foster Parent Tips!
Do not miss mandatory medical deadlines and be sure to follow up on any recommendations from doctors or dentists. Missing appointments and follow up is one of the top reasons foster parents receive special investigations.
Always inform your case worker of doctors and dentists appointment dates and times in writing so they can relay the information to bio-parents if appropriate.
NEVER SIGN A FORM STATING THAT YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT AT A DOCTOR’S OFFICE. We recommend that you cross out your name and write in your Agencies Name/State of Michigan as the responsible party for payment before signing any form. We have too many families that have gone into collections for billing errors on a foster child’s medical account. PROTECT YOUR FAMILY! You can let them know that in the case of foster care, the agency is child's guardian, NOT THE FOSTER PARENT and that’s why you have a special letter from them giving you permission to make medical decisions on a temporary basis.
Foster parents may want to get written approval from a worker before allowing doctors to administer certain vaccinations such as GARDASIL® or if the case has special considerations such as ICWA or religious objections to vaccinations. It's better to double check up front so you can avoid a conflict with the birthparents wishes.