1000, Overview and Eligibility

Revision 22-3; Effective Dec. 1, 2022

Texas Government Code Section 533.00253 required the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to create the State of Texas Access Reform (STAR) Kids program. STAR Kids is a Medicaid managed care program for children with disabilities in Texas, which integrates acute care and long-term services and supports (LTSS) delivered by a managed care organization (MCO).

STAR Kids does not change or affect an individual's Medicaid eligibility or impact access to Medicaid services and supports. STAR Kids does change the way in which services are delivered. Children and young adults, birth through 20, enrolled in a STAR Kids MCO are called members of the MCO. All STAR Kids members have access to service coordination, provided by an MCO employee or through a member's primary care provider.

Service coordination is specialized care management performed by a service coordinator and includes but is not limited to:

  • identification and addressing of needs, including physical health, behavioral health services, and LTSS with development of an individual service plan (ISP);
  • assistance to ensure timely and a coordinated access to an array of providers and services;
  • attention to addressing unique needs of members; and
  • coordination of Medicaid benefits with non-Medicaid services and supports, as necessary and appropriate.

All STAR Kids members receive a comprehensive assessment of their physical and functional needs annually. This is done by a service coordinator using the STAR Kids Screening and Assessment Instrument (SK-SAI ). Within the time frame listed in the STAR Kids Contract, if a member has a significant change in condition, the MCO must reassess the member, update their individual service plan (ISP), as applicable, and authorize medically or functionally necessary services. The MCO must also reassess the member, revise their ISP, as applicable, and authorize necessary services upon request of the member, LAR, or health home. 

In addition to traditional Medicaid services, STAR Kids MCOs are responsible for delivering other services to children enrolled in the Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP). MDCP is a home and community-based services program authorized and operated concurrently by Sections 1915(c) and 1115 of the Social Security Act. MDCP provides respite, flexible family support services, adaptive aids, minor home modifications, employment services and transition assistance to children and young adults who meet the level of care provided in a nursing facility (NF), so they can safely live in the community. The number of program slots is limited by legislative appropriations, so HHSC maintains an interest list for MDCP. A child, young adult, or LAR may ask their MCO about how to be placed on the MDCP interest list at any time.