Throughout a child’s stay in out of home care, they will be encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities and will receive regular physical, mental and dental health care. As a result of this, sometimes expenses for these children are accidentally overlooked or billed incorrectly, which could result in a foster parent being billed directly or being sent to a collection agency, as the responsible party for the child. When this occurs, the SSW follows the procedures in this SOP for guidance.
For Unpaid Medical Expenses
If a foster parent receives a delinquent bill or a collection letter, for a Medicaid eligible service, regarding a child currently or formerly placed with them in foster care, the SSW:
- Obtains a copy of the bill/letter from the foster parent;
- Sends the bill/letter, via fax/mail/e-mail to the appropriate managed care organization or Medicaid.
- Includes a statement with the bill/letter that the child is a managed care organization member or Medicaid member who was billed or balance billed for a covered service and lists the date of service.
- If the managed care organization or Medicaid refuses to cover the outstanding debt, because it is too far past due, the SSW sends the bill/letter to the regional billing specialist, who submits a special expense request to the Division of Administrative and Fiscal Management (DAFM) for final approval/denial.
For Unpaid Extracurricular Activities or Functions
If a foster parent receives a delinquent bill or a collection letter, for anything other than a Medicaid eligible service, regarding a child placed with them in foster care, the SSW:
- Obtains the bill/letter from the foster parent;
- Confirms that the expense in question was an agency approved item;
- Sends the bill/letter to the regional billing specialist if this is an expense that the agency agreed to cover.
- The billing specialist submits a special expense request to DAFM for final approval/denial.