2 National Health Law Program
Medicaid/SCHIP Reimbursemen Models forLanguage Services
In 2000, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reminded states thatthey could include language services as an administrative or optional coveredservice in their Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Programs, and thusdirectly reimburse providers for the costs of these services for program enrollees. Yetonly a handful of states are directly reimbursing providers for language services.Currently, the District of Columbia and 13 states (Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas,Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington,and Wyoming) are providing reimbursement. Three states have initiated discussionsabout reimbursement. Connecticut enacted legislation requiring reimbursement butthey have not yet been implemented. North Carolina expects to providereimbursement after establishing interpreter credentialing. And a California Task Force established by the Department of Health Services issued recommendationsfor initiating reimbursement.The remainder of this issue brief outlines existing state mechanisms for directlyreimbursing providers for language services for Medicaid and SCHIP enrollees.
(Formore information on funding for Medicaid and SCHIP services, see
How Can StatesGet Federal Funds to Help Pay for Language Services for Medicaid and SCHIP Enrollees?
). While only some states currently provide reimbursement, the examplesbelow can help you identify promising ways to evaluate and establishreimbursement mechanisms to meet your state’s needs and goals.