Whether or not you can be charged for Early Intervention (EI) services depends on in which state you live. Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (which sets the guidelines for EI services for the country) allows states to charge families for certain EI services through co-pays, deductibles, or payments derived from sliding scales according to family income. States may also use other family resources, such as private or publicly available insurance, to pay for EI services. Only the following EI services are provided at no cost to the family: Child Find services, evaluations and assessments, Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) development, service coordination, and procedural safeguards.
Pennsylvania currently does not charge families for Early Intervention (EI) services. However, if the child is covered by Medical Assistance (MA), the provider may ask the family to bill MA for services covered by this insurance. Currently in Pennsylvania, there is no co-pay, deductible, or limit to the services covered by MA. Thus it is unlikely that allowing the county to bill MA would cause you and your family any harm. Nevertheless, it is still your choice whether to allow MA to be billed for your child’s EI services. The County can also ask you to use your private insurance to pay for evaluations or other services, but you should not agree to this if you will incur any costs, including deductibles and higher premiums, or if you have a cap on the amount of services you can receive in a period of time.
Other states, such as New Jersey, charge families according to a sliding scale, which takes a family’s income into account when setting fees for services.
- The Big I-D-E-A
- Child Find – The State’s Obligation to Identify Children with Disabilities
- Should I Allow My District to Bill Medicaid for Services for My Child?
- NJ’s Service Delivery System for Children Under Age 3 with ASD
- Early Intervention in Delaware