Minnesota legislators should support legislation to reduce the unaffordable fees that many Minnesota parents pay for services that keep their children with disabilities healthy, keep them with their families, and keep them in the community.
Why Parental Fees Should Be Reduced
- Parental fees that families pay for their in-home supports and medical services through Medical Assistance have often been unaffordable for families.
- Families with children with disabilities often pay more of their income on medical care than families without. They pay for medical care for their child with disabilities, plus private insurance coverage for the rest of the family.
- High fees can cause great financial stress to families and even prevent them from applying for crucial services that would meet their children’s needs.
- Minnesota has made a substantial commitment to support children with disabilities in their family homes. Parental fees can create an obstacle to meeting this commitment.
Parents whose incomes would normally be too high to quality for Medical Assistance (MA) can receive coverage for in-home supports and medical services though MA. These services and supports are available through programs that are technically called TEFRA and waivered services. Families accessing these programs pay a fee on a sliding scale.
To help balance past state budgets, lawmakers at times increased parental fees and made fees unaffordable for many Minnesota families. In some cases, fees equaled a family’s mortgage payment or the amount of state taxes it paid. Some families drained their savings accounts or drew down retirement accounts. For more on the impact of these fees on families, watch Lisa Juliar’s testimony and Kelly Kausel’s statement at the 2017 Day at the Capitol.
There has been some progress over the past decade in providing parental fee relief, including the 2017 Legislative Session, when legislation was passed that lowered fees by 13%. However, many families still face fees that are unaffordable. These families and their children need further relief, and The Arc Minnesota supports not only further reduction, but the eventual elimination of all parental fees.
Updated December 2017.