Medicaid Waiver Services for Children in Foster Care
Bridges to Health — most commonly known as B2H — is a New York State program started in 2008 (CV began participating in 2009) specifically designed for children in foster care or in the Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth (DJJOY). B2H consists of three types of waivers: serious emotional disturbances, developmental disabilities, and medically fragile. The program addresses the complex needs of these children and their families by providing a wide range of home and community-based services, reducing the need for hospitalizations and other out-of-home placement.
Bridges to Health is significantly lowering the state’s healthcare costs while providing enhanced and expanded services to families. Medical institutionalization of disabled children annually costs $185,000 to $300,000 per child compared to the cost of B2H, which is capped at $51,600 per child. The program is approved by the federal Department of Health and Human Services to use Medicaid funding to provide services not otherwise available through Medicaid.
Bridges to Health provides the following support services as needed:
- Health care integration
- Family/caregiver supports and services
- Skill building
- Day habilitation
- Special needs community advocacy and support
- Prevocational services
- Supported employment
- Planned respite
- Crisis avoidance, management, and training
- Immediate crisis response services
- Intensive in-home supports
- Crisis respite
- Adaptive and assistive equipment
- Accessibility modifications
To be eligible for Bridges to Health services, the youth must be in the custody of the Department of Social Services or OCFS Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth. They must also be eligible for Medicaid, live in a setting of 12 beds or less, and be eligible for admission to a medical institution and assessed to meet the Level of Care criteria for one of the three waivers in the B2H Waiver Program: seriously emotional disturbances (SED), developmental disabilities (DD), or medically fragile (MedF).
Learn more about B2H around New York State.