We are the parents of Jeremy, a wonderful child with a disability. We struggled over the years to find the best educational setting for him. For many reasons, he did not do well in the public school. He disliked school and his behaviors showed it. After searching for the right setting, a private school agreed to accept him if he could have Medicaid funded services in the school.
He began to make progress and was happy. But this was all about to end when Medicaid announced it was changing its rules and would stop funding his needed therapies at his private school. The changes would require him to go back to the public school to get these services. For Jeremy, this was not an option.
Our family, several other parents, and Jeremy’s service providers tried to talk to Medicaid about the effects of the proposed changes. Medicaid told us we had to choose between Medicaid coverage and the private school. Other families whose children were educated at home also faced this problem. Many of these children had been unsuccessful at school also. We had no idea what we were going to do when school started the next year.
Fortunately, DisAbility Rights Idaho agreed to help us and filed a court action to stop Medicaid from making these changes. The case was heard just as school was starting and DRI stopped the rule change just in time. Jeremy was able to attend the school that was best for him with the Medicaid funded supports. DRI’s assistance not only helped my family, but many other families in Idaho.
* Jeremy is a fictitious child; the story, however, is representative of the families involved in this case.