On June 11, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) of the US. Department of Education published a ‘Suggested Model for Written notification of Parental Rights regarding Use of Public Benefits or Insurance’ (Medicaid). As you will recall, MSB provided you with a suggested annual notification back in February when the new federal regulations regarding parental consent were published. We encouraged you to send out this annual notification on or around March 18. Now that OSERS has published a model annual notice, we suggest that from this point forward you no longer utilize the annual notification that we provided, but migrate to the use of the OSERS model notice. We have provided a link to the OSERS model notice here as well as on our website.
Please read the model notice carefully and consider whether or not to add ‘optional’ model language. There is also a ‘Note to States and School Districts’ imbedded in the model notice that requires your action.
Our suggestions as to the ‘Optional’ language and ‘Note to State and Schools Districts’ areas follows:
- Optional Language on Page 3 of the model notice: We would suggest that you do not include this optional language unless you want to dedicate staff time and resources to responding to requests for copies of service delivery logs by parents.
- Note to States and School Districts on page 4 of the model notice: On the consent form developed by MSB, we have added a statement that the parent is agreeing that the child’s Medicaid coverage will be used to pay for special education and related services under the IDEA. You should inform the parents that ‘Our consent form includes language that indicates that by giving us permission to bill Medicaid, you are allowing us to use your child’s public benefits or insurance to pay for special education and related services.’.
- Optional Language on pages 4 and 5 of the model notice: We suggest that you include all of the optional language.
- Optional Language on page 6 of the model notice: We suggest that you describe for parents the way that you want them to notify you of your district’s procedure for the withdrawal of consent. Perhaps you should identify a key person for parents to contact if they want to withdraw consent and specify the way that the parent communicates with this key person (e-mail, telephone, etc.). It will be important for this key person to then communicate to MSB any instances where consent has been revoked by a parent. Make sure to remind the parents to identify the specific child in the revocation of consent notice as well as the full name of the parent so that the key person in your district can properly identify the child for whom consent is being revoked.
- On page 7 of the model notice, make sure to include your district’s contact information.