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The North Dakota Department of Human Services announced it has received final approval of the Medicaid 1915(i) State Plan Amendment from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), creating opportunities to expand community-based behavioral health services. The department plans to have the program available for Medicaid members who qualify by Feb. 16.

“The Medicaid 1915(i) State Plan Amendment is one of the most crucial steps North Dakota has taken to end the behavioral health systems crisis,” said Carlotta McCleary, spokesperson for the Mental Health Advocacy Network. “In fact, the 1915(i) represents one of the single largest behavioral health reforms this state has seen in the last several decades.”

Newly covered services will include housing and employment supports, peer support, family peer support, respite and educational supports. Information regarding eligibility and a full list of new services is available at www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov/1915i.

The Medicaid 1915(i) State Plan Amendment addresses gaps in the state’s behavioral health system and is considered to be the most robust program approved by CMS in the country.

The department is seeking providers interested in developing these new services or expanding their current service array. Information on provider enrollment and program guidance is available at www.behavioralhealth.nd.gov.

During the 2019 legislative session, North Dakota lawmakers authorized the Department of Human Services to create a Medicaid 1915(i) State Plan Amendment. North Dakota’s Medicaid State Plan is an agreement between the state and federal government that outlines how the state will operate its Medicaid program.