Publication Date

March 2006


[From Summary] As a condition of accepting funds under IDEA, public schools must provide special education and related services necessary for children with disabilities to benefit from a public education. Generally, states can finance only a portion of these costs with federal IDEA funds. Medicaid, the federal-state program that finances medical and health services for the poor, can cover IDEA required health-related services for enrolled children as well as related administrative activities (e.g., outreach for Medicaid enrollment purposes, medical care coordination/monitoring). However, the link between IDEA and Medicaid has not been seamless. Despite written federal guidance, schools have a difficult time meeting the myriad complex reimbursement rules applicable to all Medicaid participating providers. According to federal investigations and congressional hearings, Medicaid payments to schools have sometimes been improper. The President’s FY2007 budget proposal would prohibit federal Medicaid reimbursement for IDEA-related school-based administration and transportation costs. This report will be updated.


Suggested Citation
Hertz, H.J. (2006). The link between Medicaid and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Recent history and current issues (RS22397). Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.