MREA superintendents joined school leaders last week across the nation in calling Congress to oppose proposed changes to Medicaid. Minnesota stands to lose $2 billion in Medicaid funding by 2021 that would impact schools and children in need across the state, if the Senate’s health care reform takes effect.

Minnesota schools received $53 million in federal Medicaid funding in FY 2015, which was matched with $53 million in state funds. These help provide services described in a child’s special education plan under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This includes services such as occupational and physical therapy, nursing, mental health, and aides in the classroom. Medicaid also covers health services for eligible children through the Early and Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment Services (EPSDT).

School districts directly access these funds through third-party billing for therapeutic services, most often through SPED coops.  Schools also indirectly access these fund through county collaboratives.

MREA advised school superintendents of proposals to significantly cut Medicaid and institute a block grant or per capita caps and provided them resources last week to connect with the Minnesota Congressional Delegation, including this  sample message that outlines more of the impact.

Rural children will be most affected by the proposed cuts to Medicaid.  About 38 percent of Minnesota’s rural children are enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), according to a new report. This is an increase from 28 percent in 2008. There currently are 10 percent more children enrolled in Minnesota’s rural areas compared to metropolitan areas. Learn more and take action

View chart comparing ObamaCare with the 2017 plans from the House and Senate and more information.