The ACCESS Program serves intermediate units across Pennsylvania. It is a cooperative effort of the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Through ACCESS, the BCIU Preschool Early Intervention Program can be reimbursed for health-related services provided to students who are eligible for special education. In order for reimbursement to occur, each special needs student must have an individualized Education Plan (IEP), and parents or guardians must complete a Medical Assistance (MA) application.
Benefits to your Child
Through parent participation in the ACCESS Program, Early Intervention has the opportunity to develop and provide additional quality services to our students. Each incoming ACCESS dollar strengthens the Early Intervention Program and enhances the support given to the students in our community.
Examples of expenses paid with ACCESS funds include the following:
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Physical therapy equipment
- Personal care supplies
- Field trips
- Staff CPR and first-aid training
Having Medical Assistance (MA) will in no way interfere with your personal health insurance. Applying for MA is completely voluntary. Information on your application is shared only with Early Intervention staff, a doctor or certified nurse practitioner to determine your child’s eligibility, and Public Consulting Group (PDE’s contractor for billing purposes).
How to Apply for MA
To enroll in MA, complete a hard copy of the Health Care Coverage application (English Version or Version Espanola) or visit www.compass.state.pa.us.
Include a copy of your child’s IEP when mailing your application. If you need assistance completing the paperwork, call the Berks County Assistance Office at 610-736-4211 or the BCIU Preschool Early Intervention Program at 610-987-8371.
Medical Assistance FAQs
PARENTAL CONSENT FORM
- Do I have to give consent to bill MA?
Yes, after signing a one-time consent form, you will be issued a notification annually that outlines the safeguard regulations that are in place for MA billing.
- If I give consent for EI to bill MA, will it affect the services my child receives outside of school?
No, MA will continue to pay for medically necessary health-related services your child receives outside of EI.
- Will allowing EI to bill affect other benefits my child or family receives, such as cash assistance?
No, allowing EI to bill will not affect a child or family’s MA services, funds,or limits in any way.
- Will I have to make a monthly premium or co-payments?
No, the State does not charge premiums for children who qualify for MA under PH Category 95 (disability category). Also, there are no co-payments for school-based services.
- If I do not consent, will my child continue to receive IEP services?
Yes. If you do not consent, your child will continue to receive all services as defined in his/her IEP.
MEDICAL ASSISTANCE FORM
- Am I required to complete the Medical Assistance (MA) application?
No, completing the application is optional. It will not impact or change the services that your child is entitled to receive.
- The application asks for proof of all income for my household. Must I provide that information?
You do need to provide all of the information requested in the application. However, the information is confidential, and the income amount will not be used to determine your child’s eligibility because you are applying based on the disability of your child and his/her income, not your income.
- Will this application affect my health insurance?
No, this is an entirely separate program for your child. Your child will continue to receive services from your family physician or health facility.
- How long will my child be eligible for MA if approved this time?
Eligibility is for one year, at which time it needs to be renewed. Renewals can be done online or over the phone. EI will assist you with the renewal if you like.
- If I complete this application, how will I know if my child becomes eligible?
You will receive notification of your child’s eligibility. Please contact the Early Intervention (EI) program to let them know your child is eligible.
>> Download a copy of the ACCESS program brochure.
If you would like more information, please call us:
Berks County Intermediate Unit, Preschool Early Intervention Program