Child care assistance families are responsible for a copayment. The copayment is paid to the family’s child care provider biweekly.
The copayment amount is based on family size and annual income after allowable deductions. Copayments are graduated to provide movement of families to full payment of child care costs as their income increases.
During the biweekly period when the family first receives service, MEC2 will prorate the copayment based on the number of calendar days left in the biweekly period.
During the 12 month eligibility period, the amount of the copayment can be reduced. When family income decreases or the family size increases, the copayment is reduced in the next biweekly period. If verification of the change is not provided, the family remains eligible, but the copayment should not be reduced.
MEC² will not check if entered income changes are verified. Do not enter an unverified income decrease. If an unverified income decrease is entered into MEC² the system may reduce the copayment for the family. If verification later shows that the copay should not have decreased, the family may be subject to an overpayment.
During the 12 month eligibility period, the amount of the copayment cannot be increased. When family income increases or the family size decreases, the copayment will stay the same until the family’s next redetermination. At redetermination, the copayment will increase after a 15 day notice.
In some situations, the family is not required to pay the copayment. This includes when:
In all other situations, when a family does not pay the required copayment, the family is ineligible for child care assistance until:
· The family continues to comply with the payment agreement.
Note: Some providers apply the amount paid by the family to the oldest fees or to the amount that is more than the county maximum rate. In these cases, the provider considers the copayment not to have been paid and may indicate this on the billing voucher. Consider the family to have paid the copayment if the family or provider is able to document that an amount has been paid that is equal to or greater than their copayment.
The copay can decrease or stay the same when a case is moved out of temporary ineligibility or suspension during the 12 month eligibility period. The copay cannot increase.
If a reinstatement is tied to a redetermination, the copay can increase, decrease, or stay the same. See Chapter 10.6.6 (Redetermination processing – Reinstatement) for more information about reinstatement at redetermination.
If a reinstatement is not tied to a redetermination and the reinstatement occurs during the 12 month eligibility period, the copay can decrease or stay the same. The copay cannot increase.
If it is discovered that an incorrect copay was approved, the copay can increase to avoid continued overpayments for the family. Workers need to contact their policy specialist if an incorrect copay was approved and the copay should have been higher.
A copayment can increase during the 12 month eligibility period due to recoupment of an overpayment. The recoupment is based on the family’s current copay. MEC2 assesses the recoupment amount based on the family’s current annualized income which may have changed since their copay was last determined. Workers must evaluate whether the recoupment amount calculated by MEC2 is correct or not. See Chapter 14.9.6 (Recoupment – Families) for information about how to determine the recoupment amount. Contact your policy specialist if MEC2 calculates an incorrect recoupment amount and requires a recoupment patch. Recoupment patches are NOT permanent. If a case is sent thru background at any time at a later date, Eligibility results will always pull in the incorrect increase recoupment amount and will need to be re-patched if eligibility has been re-approved.
Incorrect recoupment amounts approved:
If an income change is processed and an incorrect recoupment amount is approved. A Service Authorization notice is sent to the family and provider that includes the copay amount plus the higher recoupment amount; however, MEC2 deducts a lower recoupment amount during the Billing issuance. The family is overpaying the provider. Until this system limitation is fixed, if an incorrect recoupment amount is appoved in error and paid by the family, contact your policy specialist for assistance in correcting payments in this situation.
For the copayment schedules, select the applicable time period:
Contact your agency’s CCAP Policy Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Human Services for previous copayment schedules.
Minnesota Statutes 119B.125, subd. 4
Minnesota Statutes 119B.12
Minnesota Rules 3400.0100