• Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) & CHIP Programs

    The Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH) is a healthcare program in the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). BCMH links families of children with special health care needs to a network of quality providers and helps families obtain payment for the services their children need. BCMH is the Ohio Title V program that receives grant funding through the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The purpose of Title V funds is to support programs for children with special health care needs that promote the development of family-centered, community-based, coordinated systems of care.

    The federal Maternal and child Health Bureau funds Title V programs in every state.  You can find their directory of contacts to see who you should call in your area. 

    The Complex Care Center at Cincinnati Children’s provides information to help families and health care providers identify sources of financial assistance.

  • In Ohio, BCMH assures, through the development and support of high quality, coordinated systems, that children with special health care needs and their families obtain comprehensive care and services that are family centered, community based and culturally sensitive. Assistance is provided to children under the age of 21 who have special health care needs and are residents of the State of Ohio. Some of the services have financial and medical eligibility guidelines. Many of these children have medical conditions that require ongoing treatments. Some examples of these conditions are diabetes, heart defects, chronic lung disease, cancer and hearing loss. BCMH may be able to cover services that are not covered by insurance and / or Medicaid. Although BCMH covers a wide range of services, it is important to know BCMH does not cover all the services a child with special health care needs may require, nor are all services available for every diagnosis. Services must be related to the child’s BCMH eligible condition.

    A BCMH approved physician must submit a Medical Application Form to BCMH on behalf of the child to start the enrollment process.

    The Diagnostic Program is available to children, regardless of family income. They can receive services for three months, from a BCMH approved health care provider, to rule out or diagnose a special health care need or establish a plan of treatment. These services may include tests and x-rays, visits to BCMH approved doctors, up to five days in the hospital, public health nursing services and therapy evaluations.
    The Treatment Program is available for one year from a BCMH approved health care provider to families meeting financial and medical eligibility requirements. BCMH does not count stepparent income. When a child’s doctor applies to BCMH for treatment services a child needs, the parent or legal guardian will receive a financial application packet unless the child is active on the Medicaid program. A Combined Program Application must be completed. However, a child receiving benefits through Medicaid, Medicaid Waiver, Institutional Medicaid, SSI or the Women, Infant, and Children Program (WIC) is automatically financially eligible for BCMH treatment services, regardless of the parent's income. Treatment services may include laboratory tests and x-rays, visits to BCMH approved doctors, prescriptions, therapies, medical equipment and supplies, surgeries and hospitalizations, service coordination, and public health nursing services. 
    Cost Share is yet another option for families with income higher than allowed. If BCMH sends the family a denial letter, stating they are “over-income” for the Treatment Program, they will also receive information about the BCMH’s cost share program. They will be given a cost share dollar amount and a Steps to Meet Your Cost Share Factsheet detailing how they can meet their cost share amount. When the family provides proof to BCMH that they have spent that amount of money on medical costs including dental, and/or vision bills for any member of their family, they will have met their cost share. On the date the cost share is met, the child will become eligible for the Treatment Program for one year.

    The Service Coordination Program helps parents locate and coordinate the services their child may need. This is a limited program, available to children with specific conditions, who are seen by a team of providers at hospitals approved by BCMH. This program is available, regardless of income, but does not pay for medical services.

    The Public Health Nursing Consultation Program works with Help Me Grow early intervention services to assist families of children ages 0 to 3. Public health nurse services may be available for one year.
    • Children's Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) program provides financial assistance to qualified individuals for medical treatment for children, ages newborn to 21 years, with serious and chronic medical conditions.
    • The Hoosier Healthwise Program is a health care program for low income families, pregnant women, and children. The program covers medical care like doctor visits, prescription medicine, mental health care, dental care, hospitalizations, surgeries, and family planning at little or no cost to the member or the member's family.

      Hoosier Healthwise covers many different types of people:

      • Children up to age 19
      • Pregnant women
      • Parents/Guardians of children under the age of 18.

      The Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) for children up to age 19, falls under the Hoosier Healthwise program.