Frequently Asked Questions
Getting help for your child can sometimes feel like an exercise in chasing down answers. In an effort to help you know where to look, we have compiled some of our most frequently asked questions with links to resources whenever possible.
It is important to remember that each child is unique, so sometimes these answers may not give you enough information to completely solve a problem. We do hope these questions and answers get you focused in the right direction.
If you have questions you would like to see us answer, please contact us and let us know. Also, if you have information that you think would help other families, drop us a line and we will do our best to get it posted.
Disclaimer: We are parents who volunteer our time to help other parents raising kids just like ours. The YES system of care is still being developed and that means it is still changing. While our goal is to provide answers in plain language and we do our best to keep everything current, please continue to refer to yes.idaho.gov for the most current information on these topics.
How do I know if my child needs mental health care?
Many pediatricians and other family doctors have mental health screenings to help identify mental health concerns.
YES has created a mental health checklist for parents to see if their child may benefit from a full mental health assessment. (Expected September 2018)
A mental health assessment, frequently called a comprehensive diagnostic assessment, is how a mental health provider identifies mental health issues that may need treatment.
Parents are able to seek mental health care for their child at any time without needing to complete any checklist or screening, but if you are wondering if it is needed, it is okay to ask your regular medical provider for input and a referral.
Where do I get mental health services for my child?
Once you make the decision to get your child mental health care, you might be a bit overwhelmed. Answering a few questions will help you get started.
In Idaho, the first question you need to answer is about Medicaid.
- If your child already has Medicaid, then you can start accessing services that are part of the State Plan right away. Optum Idaho is the managed care provider for Idaho Medicaid, and can help you identify services and providers in your area.
If your child is not currently enrolled in Medicaid, there are more questions you need to answer before you know how to get mental health services.
- Do you have private insurance? If so, do you have access to the mental health benefits that meet your child’s needs? To find out, contact your insurance company for covered services and providers in your area.
- Have you previously applied for Medicaid and been denied? If so, new income eligibility limits have recently gone into effect for children who have a serious emotional disturbance. If you family makes under 300% of the Federal Poverty Level, you may be able to qualify for Medicaid. (See question about independent assessment below.)
- Have you been evaluated by your local Children’s Mental Health (CMH) Office? As YES continues to develop, children who are not Medicaid eligible can talk to their local CMH office to see what programs are available in your area.
Does my child need an Independent Assessment?
The answer really is…it depends.
Having and Independent Assessor do an Independent Assessment is currently only required in two situations:
- Your child does not currently qualify for Medicaid, but might under the new 300% Federal Poverty Level income limits, or
- Your child has Medicaid and you would like to access Medicaid paid group respite.
If you would like your child to have an Independent Assessment, you can contact Liberty Healthcare at 1-877-305-3469. When you reach their answering machine, select the YES assessment option.