TX STAR Kids Program Explained

The STAR Kids program in Texas is a Medicaid managed care initiative that provides comprehensive healthcare benefits and compensation for family caregivers to children and young adults with disabilities.
Published on
August 24, 2023
Written by
Katie Wilkinson
Reviewed by
Max Mayblum
Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Presented by Givers
We help families enroll in caregiver pay programs. For free.
See If You're Eligible
mother daughter smiling

The TX STAR Kids Program is available in:

Click a state below to learn more about all of the ways to get paid as a caregiver.

The STAR Kids program in Texas is a Medicaid-managed care initiative that plays a vital role in the healthcare system by providing essential benefits to children and young adults aged 20 and below with disabilities. Enabling access to Medicaid benefits, STAR Kids offers comprehensive healthcare services for those who meet specific eligibility criteria, such as receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid and Medicare. This program aims to cater to the unique needs of individuals with disabilities, offering prescription drugs, hospital care, personal care services, and more.

Overview of the STAR Kids Program

Managed care is a crucial feature of the STAR Kids program, wherein participants choose a health plan that best suits their needs. Enrollees can access essential medical services through a network of doctors, specialists, and providers, including prescription drugs, hospital care, primary and specialty care, preventive care, personal care services, private duty nursing, and durable medical equipment and supplies.

One of the core objectives of the STAR Kids program is to ensure seamless coordination of care. Each health plan provides service coordination, identifying the individual's needs and connecting them to appropriate services and qualified providers. The program also involves an assessment process to determine each child's unique health and independent living requirements, leading to the creation of an individual service plan.

Beyond its healthcare provisions, the STAR Kids program recognizes the crucial role of family caregivers and offers the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) option. This empowering feature enables participants to select and manage their caregivers, providing the flexibility and support necessary for caregivers to deliver compassionate and effective care.

The STAR Kids program targets individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or have both Medicaid and Medicare coverage. Additionally, those residing in community-based intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities or related conditions (ICF/IID), nursing facilities, or receiving services through specific waiver programs related to intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) may also be eligible to participate.

Through its comprehensive approach to healthcare and emphasis on family caregiver support, the STAR Kids program strives to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities while advocating for fair compensation and recognition for the invaluable work of caregivers in the healthcare system.

Can you get paid caring for your loved one?
See if your eligible
woman smiling
Can you get paid caring for your loved one?
woman smiling

Eligibility Requirements for STAR Kids Program

To be eligible for the STAR Kids program, individuals must meet specific criteria aimed at providing Medicaid benefits and comprehensive healthcare services to children and young adults with disabilities in Texas. The eligibility requirements include:

  1. Age: Participants must be 20 years old or younger at enrollment.
  2. Disability Status: Individuals must have a qualifying disability as determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines or be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits due to their disability.
  3. Medicaid Coverage: Applicants must be covered by Medicaid or eligible for Medicaid services.
  4. Additional Program Participation: Eligibility is extended to those already receiving benefits from the Medically Dependent Children Program (MDCP) waiver, the Youth Empowerment Services (YES) waiver, or certain Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) waiver programs such as Community Living Assistance and Support Services (CLASS), Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities (DBMD), Home and Community-based Services (HCS), or Texas Home Living (TxHmL).
  5. Residential Status: Some applicants may be eligible based on their residence in a community-based intermediate care facility for individuals with intellectual disabilities or related conditions (ICF/IID) or a nursing facility.
  6. Medicare Coverage: Individuals with both Medicaid and Medicare coverage may also qualify for the STAR Kids program, though they will not choose a primary care physician or clinic.

Specific income limits and financial criteria may apply, and applicants must meet these requirements to be considered eligible for the STAR Kids program. Once qualified, participants can select a health plan that suits their needs and access an array of healthcare services designed to meet their unique requirements while benefiting from the support and flexibility provided to family caregivers through the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) option.

Services and Supports under the STAR Kids Program

The STAR Kids program in Texas offers comprehensive services and supports to meet the diverse healthcare needs of children and young adults with disabilities. Enrolled participants can access various medical and non-medical services that promote their well-being and independence. The services and supports available under the STAR Kids program include:

  1. Medical Services: Comprehensive medical care, including check-ups, immunizations, hospitalization, and specialty care.
  2. Prescription Drugs: Coverage for necessary medications prescribed by healthcare providers.
  3. Personal Care Services: Assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating.
  4. Private Duty Nursing: Skilled nursing services provided at home or in a community setting.
  5. Durable Medical Equipment and Supplies: Access to essential medical devices and supplies, such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, and diabetic testing supplies.
  6. Home and Community-based Services (HCBS): Supportive services delivered in community settings, promoting integration and independence.
  7. Consumer Directed Services (CDS) Option: The flexibility to hire and manage a caregiver of choice for personalized support.
  8. Therapy Services: Physical, occupational, and speech therapy to address developmental and rehabilitation needs.
  9. Behavioral Health Services: Mental health and counseling services to support emotional well-being.
  10. Assistive Technologies: Access to technology and devices that aid communication, mobility, and daily activities.
  11. Service Coordination: Assistance in navigating and accessing various healthcare and community resources.
  12. Respite Care: Temporary relief for primary caregivers to prevent burnout and ensure continuity of care.
  13. Specialized Healthcare Services: Tailored services for individuals with specific medical conditions or complex needs.

The STAR Kids program prioritizes home and community-based services (HCBS), encouraging individuals to receive care in their homes and communities rather than in institutional settings. This approach aims to enhance the quality of life and promote independence for program participants.

Furthermore, through the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) option, participants gain greater control over their caregiving needs, allowing them to choose and manage their caregivers personally. This empowers caregivers and recipients, fostering a more compassionate and personalized caregiving experience.

Overall, the STAR Kids program's services and supports are designed to holistically address the unique needs of children and young adults with disabilities, promoting their health, well-being, and inclusion within their communities.

Earn up to $20/hr for the care you give.
check eligibility
woman smiling
Earn up to $20/hr for the care you give.
woman smiling

Compensation for Family Caregivers

Under the STAR Kids program, eligible family caregivers can compensate through the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) option. This self-directed option allows participants to hire and manage their chosen caregiver, often a family member, and receive payment for their caregiving services. The CDS option empowers caregivers by giving them more control over their work and allowing them to provide care that best meets the recipient's needs. By compensating unpaid family caregivers, the STAR Kids program recognizes the invaluable contributions they make to the well-being and health of their loved ones. This acknowledgment not only supports families in providing quality care but also acknowledges the role of family caregivers as an integral part of the healthcare system.

A Note from Givers

If you are a family caregiver in Texas, find out if you are eligible for caregiver compensation by completing this form. Your dedication and love make a difference—let's ensure you receive the support you deserve.

Find out how to get paid in your state

Read the full guide

Givers helps people caring for loved ones get enrolled in caregiver pay programs.