#SchoolMedicaidMatters – New Resources & Campaign to Support School Health Services


May 9, 2022

Given the growing concern about student health, particularly mental health, and recent national policy efforts to increase access to school health services, Healthy Schools Campaign has developed new and updated guidance on how school districts can seek Medicaid reimbursement to expand physical, behavioral and mental health services.

An online campaign, #SchoolMedicaidMatters, will run May 9-13 to raise awareness of federal policy and funding opportunities. A social media toolkit is available with resources, sample messages, graphics and more.

So far, 17 states have altered their state Medicaid plan to allow school districts to receive reimbursement for health services provided to all students enrolled in Medicaid – instead of being limited to students with an IEP – and five more states, including Illinois, have started the process.

But the majority of states still have to bring their Medicaid plans up to date with federal policy so school districts can leverage funding.

The resources cover all aspects of the process, from how to get started with amending a state Medicaid plan to adding more types of school health personnel considered eligible for Medicaid reimbursement. (One of the tricky things for school districts is that a health provider can be licensed and qualified to provide a Medicaid-eligible health service, but if they’re not included as a “Medicaid-qualified” provider in the state plan, the school can’t seek reimbursement for the service.)

States that have updated their plan to more accurately reflect the types of health providers working in schools receive more federal funding – and these funds can be used as general revenue or reinvested in school health services, enabling districts to add more staff, including school nurses, counselors, social workers and psychologists, to address student health needs. This policy brief shows how six states ensured that school health providers are recognized as Medicaid-eligible.

HSPF’s interactive map shows detailed information about Medicaid-eligible services and school nursing and behavioral health personnel in all 50 states and D.C.

Issue-Specific Policy Briefs

In addition, HSC has published several new policy briefs that address school Medicaid billing and plans of care.

Breaking down these complex issues is one of the ways HSC is working to remove barriers that might be delaying health and education agencies from taking action. We also advise state teams in our Healthy Students, Promising Futures Learning Collaborative and provide the opportunity for them to learn from national policy experts and each other. A similar learning collaborative is underway specifically for Illinois school districts.

We invite you to join our #SchoolMedicaidMatters online campaign as we work to increase awareness about the role of school Medicaid. If you have any questions about the campaign, please contact Viviana Garcia-Blanco.

Cross-posted at Healthy Schools Campaign.