(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health’s (UDOH) Medicaid Autism Waiver Program opens for enrollment today and will accept applications until Friday, July 12 to fill 35 openings in the program. The program was funded as a pilot project during the 2012 legislative session to provide treatment for approximately 250 children, ages two through six, who are clinically-diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Applications for the program are available online at http://health.utah.gov/
autismwaiver. The program, which launched late last year, has already received feedback from grateful parents recognizing the successes of their young children. “Our family feels so blessed to be part of the Autism Waiver Program,” said one Utah mother. “Our son, who is almost six years old, has been receiving behavioral services since February and we are so happy with the progress he has made. This program has let us see his strengths and not focus on the weaknesses. The doors that have been opened in his brain have built his confidence tremendously.”
The program provides intensive individual support for children with ASD, as well as respite care for families. Data have shown that early, intensive treatment gives children with ASD the best chance to reach their full potential.
To enroll in the program, applications must be received by Friday, July 12. Applications can be submitted online at www.health.utah.gov/
autismwaiver. Parents can also print the application and submit it by fax (801-536‐0153) or by mail (UDOH, PO Box 143112, Salt Lake City, UT 84114).
Applicants are not selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the application period ends, if more than 35 applications are received, UDOH staff will assign a randomly-generated ranking to each eligible applicant. In order to ensure statewide access, program openings will be assigned geographically by local health district based on each district’s population. Children currently participating in the program will not need to re-apply.
To be eligible for the program, a child must be a Utah resident with a date of birth between January 1, 2007 and July 31, 2011. The child must also not have assets (bank accounts, trust funds, etc.) of more than $2,000 in his or her name. Unlike traditional Medicaid, a parent’s income and assets are not considered when determining the child’s eligibility. Children currently enrolled in traditional Medicaid will not be automatically eligible for the program and will need to apply.
Another Utah mother of a three-year-old son added, “Within the last six months he has begun speaking and gives out hugs frequently. Most people now have no idea he has autism. They just see a kind, loving, handsome, intelligent boy with a bright future.”
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Utah Department of Health