Health department offers Children’s Special Health Care Services Program

REGION – Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD) Children’s Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) Program is a secondary insurance program designed to support children with eligible chronic health conditions and their families. CSHCS is also available for adults with cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, and bleeding disorders. The CSHCS Program helps to pay medical costs not covered by other insurance and is related to the child’s medical diagnosis. Examples of medical conditions that are often covered include diabetes, heart conditions, kidney disease, birth defects, cystic fibrosis, cleft palate/lip, cancer and many other serious diseases or conditions. There are over 2,700 medical conditions that qualify a child for the CSHCS Program.

The staff at CMDHD provide CSHCS education in our community to families and doctors, so that others can better understand the program and its benefits. There are no income limits to this program; however, there may be a co-pay or payment plan for some families with higher incomes. Families with private health insurance are also eligible for CSHCS. Staff at our office can assist any family in applying for the program after a child has received a qualifying medical diagnosis. Once someone is found to be eligible through a physician review of their medical history at the state CSHCS office, the local health department staff works with the family over the year to assist with any medical support, transportation needs, complex billing issues or when overnight stays away from home are needed for medical treatment.

Our CMDHD employees have helped families write emails or make phone calls to insurance companies for assistance to get previous denials for necessary medical care covered. CMDHD staff are also available to help obtain other necessary items that may not be covered by insurance, such as wheelchair ramps or air conditioners. One family shared a story of how our CSHCS representative helped her family: “The CSHCS representative was very helpful, and she told me exactly how to write an email to address an issue with U of M. My child’s surgery in U of M’s dental department had been pre-approved, but the U of M billing clerk did not know how to process it properly. With her help on how to word the email, it helped the billing department complete their process, so my child was finally able to get the surgery they needed.” This mom will never forget what was done for her child and is grateful to CSHCS and our local CSHCS workers for all they do for our community!

Once a child is enrolled, CSHCS local office staff can help to provide:

  • Assistance in obtaining reimbursement for travel and lodging when visiting out-of-town doctors
  • Help with finding specialty physicians, hospitals, and services specific to the child’s diagnosis
  • Help with services for children with special needs that cannot be provided by other state-funded programs
  • Care coordination, support groups, and community-based services
  • Help to find resources specific to the family needs
  • Education regarding the CSHCS patient’s medical condition
  • Help planning the transition of young people to adult health care

CSHCS is administered by the State of Michigan, with local representatives assigned for each county health department. For more information, please visit For more information, you can also call the CSHCS Family Center phone line at 1-800-359-3722 or your local health department.

  • Arenac County: (989) 846-6541
  • Clare County: (989) 539-6731
  • Gladwin County: (989) 426-9431
  • Isabella County: (989) 773-5921
  • Osceola County: (231) 832-5532
  • Roscommon County: (989) 366-9166

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