Tag Archives: autism

Children with Autism Waiver

Children with Autism Waiver

Family Frequently Asked Questions


What does the change in legislation do?

The new law does the following:

  • Increases the age limit for entrance onto the waiver from a child’s sixth birthday to their eighth birthday;
  • Allows a three year stay on the waiver for all children that enroll before their eighth birthday;
  • Eliminates the waitlist and allows the enrollment cap to fluctuate based on need;
  • Allows a onetime increase for the client annual expenditure from $25,000 to $30,000 and then allows the cap to fluctuate based on provider rate increases; and
  • Provides an annual program evaluation to measure the overall effectiveness of the waiver services.

What are examples of benefits and services available through the Children with Autism Waiver?

  • Behavioral therapy is the service provided on this waiver. The new law will not add any additional benefits or services but it will change the benefit limitations.
  • Currently, benefits are limited to three years or until the child’s 6th birthday. Once fully implemented, the new law will allow a three year stay on the waiver for all children that enroll before their eighth birthday.
  • The cost of benefits is currently limited to $25,000 per year, per child. The new law will increase this limit to $30,000.

Where can a child get benefits?

Benefits are available through a certified provider. The Case Management Agency (CMA) will assist the family to locate a provider.

What is the enrollment limit?

Currently, 75 children may be served on this waiver and there is a waitlist for the program. Once the new law is fully implemented and if/when the Department receives approval from the federal government this 75 child limit will be lifted and the waitlist will be eliminated.

I have a child currently on the waitlist, can they receive services now that the legislation has been signed into law?

The changes to the waiver will not take place until the Department receives approval from our federal partners, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Department has submitted its request for approval to the federal government. Generally the approval process takes several months. If/when the approval from the federal government occurs, the Department will contact all CCBs to begin the enrollment process for those children currently waiting to receive services.

If not, when will they be moved off the waitlist?

Once all approvals are received the Department will work with the CMAs to begin the enrollment process for clients. This process will take around a year to complete to allow the CMAs time to sufficiently work with each new enrollee and increase the provider network.

I have a child on the waitlist, how will I be notified when my child is eligible to receive services?

When it is time to begin the enrollment process for a child currently on the waitlist, the CMA working with that client will contact the family directly to begin the process.

I don’t have a child currently on the waitlist, are they eligible to receive services now that the waiver has been expanded?

Contact your local Community Centered Board (CCB) to see if your child qualifies based on the new criteria. I have a child who was previously enrolled on this waiver but aged out. Is my child eligible to re-enroll?

  • If/when all approvals are received by the Department, the new law will allow children to re-enroll if they have not passed their eighth birthday and still meet the program’s eligibility requirements. Contact your local Community Centered Board (CCB) to see if your child is still eligible.

How do I apply?

Contact your local Community Centered Board (CCB) to be evaluated.

  • CCBs provide case management services and assessments necessary for this program.

Go to your local County Department of Human/Social Services to apply for Medicaid and to submit a disability application.

If you are already enrolled in Medicaid, contact your local Community Centered Board (CCB) to start the waiver application process.

For more information visit Colorado.gov/hcpf

NDNRC releases a new Autism Fact Sheet

Autism Awareness Month

autism awareness ribbonApril is Autism Awareness Month, and with the recent and rapid increase in the rate of autism diagnosis (current estimates are that 1 in 68 children are affected by the disorder), we want to highlight some resources available for families, professionals, and community members. (Of course, Family Voices Colorado serves families of children with any kind of disability or special health care need, any condition lasting 12 months or longer that means a child requires more health care and related services than is typical at a given age.) Read the National Family Voices article on Autism Awareness Month, or the United Nations’ page on World Autism Awareness Day, April 2.

What is autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors…. ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.

~ From Autism Speaks website

Autism is sometimes classified a developmental disability, other times considered linked with mental health concerns. These diverging professional views can complicate health insurance claims if a given policy provides limited coverage for mental health or behavioral health treatment, but would cover a diagnosis that falls under the category of a “neurological condition” with a physical basis or origin.

Jake & Josh
Jake & Josh are the sons of Family Voices staff member Suzette Elledge, and both have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum

If you have had difficulty getting access to or coverage for treatment (including ABA therapy) for your child with autism, please call Family Voices today, 303-733-3000 or 800-881-8272, to speak with one of our experienced Family Navigators. We can’t guarantee coverage, of course, but we can help you understand your options within whatever private or public health insurance plan you have.

More fact sheets & basic information about autism:

Colorado & National ResourcesI am more than autism