Insurance & Medicaid
STOP! Don’t pay your baby’s hospital bill yet! Chances are you may already have medical insurance or plans to pay for your baby’s hospital bill out of your own pocket. Even if you have great insurance and a good paying job, you will want to explore applying for Disabled Child Living at Home through the Division of Medicaid.
Children with Down syndrome will likely qualify due to their disability.
Medicaid will go back for three months and pay most or all medical bills incurred on behalf of your child.
Disabled Child Living at Home is NOT based on your income level; it is based on your child’s disability.
If Medicaid turns you down, try again! Chances are there was a problem with your paperwork or internal processing.
Notify the billing departments of your hospital and doctors and let them know that you are applying for Medicaid. If you go ahead and pay, it may be difficult or impossible to get reimbursed by Medicaid.
Medicaid will pay for a variety of items and services that may not be included in your insurance plan. Even with a great insurance plan, you will have co-pays, prescriptions, deductibles, and limits on therapeutic services, etc. Medicaid will likely cover what your insurance doesn’t cover. Medicaid will even provide diapers if your child needs them after age three. It is worth the time investment to fill out the paperwork. Check behind the Resources tab to get started.
(WIC) Women, Infants & Children’s Nutrition Program
If you qualify for Disabled Child Living at Home through the Division of Medicaid, you will also qualify for the WIC Program no matter what your income. This program is designed to provide a monthly package of nutritious foods including infant formula, juice, eggs, cheese, cereal, and peanut butter through the age of five. It will also provide breast-feeding support. See contact information under the Resources tab.
Early Intervention Services
Early intervention is one of the most important things you can do to help your child!
The State of Mississippi provides FREE Early Intervention services for qualified disabled children from birth to three years of age.
These services include evaluation, education, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy. Your child will likely need ALL of these services at some point.
It is important to contact an Early Intervention agency as soon as you feel up to it. They can perform an evaluation of your child and give you easy ways to help now with future developmental concerns.
Your child can receive their FREE Early Intervention services at a certified center, or qualified therapists will come to your home, day care, etc. It is YOUR CHOICE where your child receives services.
After three years of age, your school district will be responsible for services.
Contact numbers for Early Intervention services are behind the Resources tab.
MR/DD Medicaid Waiver
If you qualify for Medicaid for Disabled Child Living at Home, you are eligible to apply for the MR/DD Medicaid Waiver program. This program provides an approved number of hours of attendant care or respite care free of charge in your home to allow you to work or have free time away from your child. MR/DD Waiver can also provide Community Care, which would provide free care for your child at a Medicaid-approved facility. Contact numbers for MR/DD Medicaid Waiver are behind the Resources tab.
Oral Motor Skills
Almost all children with Down syndrome will have oral motor issues ranging from very mild to severe. It is recommended by experts that you try to get your baby to suck a pacifier. This may take some trial-and-error to determine the pacifier that works for them, and some babies just won’t take a pacifier. Sucking a pacifier will build oral motor control, and helps develop the muscles needed for sucking, drinking, eating, and speech.
Children with Down syndrome have low muscle tone and extremely limber joints. This combination delays development in crawling and walking. When your child is lying on his/her back they will probably lie with legs and arms splayed open to each side. It will be more beneficial for them to lie on their side with a wedge to keep them from turning to their back. This will keep legs together and arms at mid-line. When holding your baby, try to keep both arms in front of their body, not falling out beside them.