Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that affects communication and social interaction. There is no cure for autism, but early intervention can make a big difference in the lives of those affected.

 This article will examine Indiana Medicaid as a resource for people living with Autism.

What are the Indiana Medicaid waivers for children with autism?

Indiana Medicaid is a government-sponsored health insurance program that provides medical coverage to the state’s low-income residents. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) administers the program.

Indiana Medicaid offers two types of waivers for children with autism:

Family Supports HCBS Waiver

When it comes to developmental disabilities, early intervention is critical. Many Indiana families are relieved that the state recently approved a Medicaid waiver for home and community-based services (HCBS). 

The waiver will provide support for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities throughout their lifetimes. Before the HCBS waiver was approved, Indiana only provided support services until age 21.

Now, people with ASD can receive services like Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), speech therapy, and occupational therapy until age 65. The waiver will also support families caring for loved ones with ASD. 

Respite care, counseling, and other services will help families to better care for their loved ones at home. As you can guess, the HCBS Waiver is a life-saver for many families. Now, on to the next waiver!

Community Integration and Habilitation Waiver

The Community Integration and Habilitation (CIH) waiver is a Medicaid-funded program that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) live and work in their communities. 

The CIH waiver provides services and support unavailable through traditional Medicaid programs. These services and supports help people with IDD live independently and participate in their communities. 

The CIH waiver is available to Indiana residents of any age who have an IDD diagnosis and who meet the following criteria:

  • Are eligible for Medicaid
  • Need habilitation or rehabilitation services that are not available through traditional Medicaid programs
  • Can live in a community setting with support from the CIH waiver program.

Are children with autism eligible for CDPAP caregivers in Indiana?

The Caregiver and Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program (CDPAP) is a Medicaid program that allows children with autism to receive in-home care from a caregiver of their choice. 

This program allows families to choose who provides care for their child and when and how care is provided. The CDPAP caregivers are there to help with things the person may not be able to do independently.

Caregivers will also help with fundamental issues encountered by children with autism, such as communication, social skills, and repetitive behaviors. These approved caregivers are also there to provide support for the family.

The CDPAP caregivers in Indiana are chosen by the Department of Health and Human Services. They must go through a background check and training program and pass a test by the Department of Health and Human Services.

You might be wondering if parents can qualify to become CDPAP Caregivers. Let’s find out.

Can Parents Qualify to Become CDPAP Caregivers?

As much as parents might want to qualify to be CDPAP caregivers, there are stipulations. If their child with autism is 21 years old or older, the good news is they can qualify to be their adult child’s support worker. 

However, if your child is younger than 21, you cannot act as a CDPAP caregiver, as you are legally responsible for your child.

There is good news, however, as you can still assign a grandparent or relative or even hire a personal assistant. There is even better news for parents, as you can be heavily involved in the process.

When choosing a CDPAP Caregiver for your child with ASD, you screen candidates, set up schedules, and even help train the selected caregiver so they can better serve your child, which gives a feeling of control over the type of help you receive.

Now that we’ve looked at the types of waivers available and caregiver support, let’s move on to the kind of treatment Medicaid will cover.

Does Medicaid cover ABA therapy?

There is good news for families dealing with children with Autism. Medicaid plans must provide coverage for medically necessary services under the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) guidelines. 

These guidelines include treatment for ASD, which can be very expensive. The most common treatment for ASD is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA therapy costs upwards of $50,000 annually, so understanding your coverage is vital!

Applied Behavior Analysis is a treatment for Autism that has been proven successful and is based on positive reinforcement and rewards for desired behavior.

ABA therapy was not previously covered because it was considered experimental, but now the state has seen enough success stories to feel confident in approving it for coverage. 

With Medicaid coverage, families will not have to worry about how they will afford this necessary treatment. ABA therapy is vital for children with Autism because it helps them to learn the skills they need to function in society. 

Without this treatment, many children with ASD would be unable to attend school, hold a job, or live independently. ABA therapy teaches essential life skills like dressing and grooming. Let’s look more closely to see what this treatment entails.

What is included in treatment?

Regarding ABA therapy for autism, Medicaid in Indiana covers a lot of ground. Here’s what’s included in this type of therapy through Medicaid: 

  • A comprehensive assessment to determine the best course of treatment Individualized treatment plans that target specific areas of need 
  • Ongoing progress monitoring to ensure the effectiveness of treatment 
  • Parent training and support to help families implement treatment strategies at home Therapist supervision and consultation throughout treatment. 

ABA therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for autism. Medicaid in Indiana covers a wide range of services to ensure that every individual with autism has access to the care they need.

If you or someone you know is seeking ABA therapy, contact your local Medicaid office to learn more about coverage and eligibility. Remember, it can feel like you are all alone when caring for a child on the spectrum, so take this advice:

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help.

An ASD diagnosis for you or your child can be life-changing, and you will encounter many challenges along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.


If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in Indiana, give us a call at (732) 402-0297. Our dedicated team is ready to help and we will treat you like family.


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