Medicaid (alongside the Children’s Health Insurance Program) covers more than half of all children in the U.S. and serves as the single largest payer of behavioral health services. Yet, timely access to mental health services remains elusive for many children and families.
In June 2022, President Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act including a number of provisions related to Medicaid and CHIP, such as:
- expanding of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic Medicaid demonstration program,
- requiring Medicaid and CHIP telehealth guidance,
- mandating Medicaid and school-based services including guidance, a new technical assistance center, and grants to states, and
- new state implementation and oversight requirements for Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment benefit.
Now, a little over a year into implementation, this issue brief provides background on the Medicaid and CHIP provisions of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and an update of where things stand including where more action is still forthcoming. Given the ongoing mental health needs of youth, timely and meaningful implementation of these provisions will remain important to furthering access to mental health care for children and individuals covered by Medicaid and CHIP.