HOUSE BILL 265
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024
Stefani Lord and Tara Jaramillo and Harlan Vincent
RELATING TO MEDICAL ASSISTANCE; REQUIRING THE HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ASSISTANCE TO PERSONS FORMERLY CHILDREN IN STATE CUSTODY UNTIL AGE TWENTY-SIX; REQUIRING THE CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES DEPARTMENT TO ENROLL CHILDREN IN ITS CUSTODY IN MEDICAL AND PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS; REQUIRING THE CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE WRITTEN CERTIFICATION OF THE ENROLLMENT OF CHILDREN IN ITS CUSTODY IN MEDICAL AND PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS; MAKING CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 27-2-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1973, Chapter 376, Section 2, as amended) is amended to read:
"27-2-2. DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Public Assistance Act:
A. "department" means the [human services] health care authority department;
B. "board" means the [human services] health care authority department;
C. "director" means the secretary of [human services] health care authority;
D. "local office" means the county or district office of the [human services] health care authority department;
E. "medicaid advisory committee" means the body, established by federal law, that advises the New Mexico medicaid program on policy development and program administration;
F. "medicaid forward plan" means a health care coverage plan that leverages the medicaid program to provide a state-administered health care coverage option;
G. "public welfare" or "public assistance" means any aid or relief granted to or on behalf of an eligible person under the Public Assistance Act and regulations issued pursuant to that act;
H. "applicant" means a person who has applied for assistance or services under the Public Assistance Act;
I. "recipient" means a person who is receiving assistance or services under the Public Assistance Act;
J. "federal act" means the federal Social Security Act, as may be amended from time to time, and regulations issued pursuant to that act; and
K. "secretary" means the secretary of [human services] health care authority."
SECTION 2. Section 27-2-12.19 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2015, Chapter 31, Section 1) is amended to read:
"27-2-12.19. FORMER CHILDREN IN STATE CUSTODY AND FORMER FOSTER-CARE RECIPIENTS--MEDICAL ASSISTANCE COVERAGE UNTIL AGE TWENTY-SIX.--The department shall [cover individuals] provide medical assistance to persons who are residents of New Mexico and who [are former] were formerly children in the custody of New Mexico or formerly recipients of foster care, regardless of the state where the foster care was received, until those [individuals] persons reach the age of twenty-six years."
SECTION 3. Section 32A-2-23.2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2009, Chapter 239, Section 24) is amended to read:
"32A-2-23.2. RELEASE PROCEEDINGS.--
A. When the department determines that a child is ready to be released, it shall provide a list of children to the juvenile public safety advisory board at least thirty-five days prior to the next regularly scheduled release consideration meeting. The department shall ensure that all other notifications of a pending release proceeding are accomplished consistent with the provisions of the Victims of Crime Act.
B. Release consideration meetings shall be held at least quarterly, are not open to the public and shall include the child, a quorum of the board and a representative of the department. The child's attorney shall receive notice and may be present at the release meeting.
C. When the secretary of children, youth and families grants the release of a child, the department shall enroll the child in state medical assistance programs and other public assistance programs that the child is entitled to and shall provide the court with written certification of such enrollment."
SECTION 4. Section 32A-4-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1993, Chapter 77, Section 98, as amended) is amended to read:
"32A-4-4. COMPLAINTS--REFERRAL--PRELIMINARY INQUIRY.--
A. Reports alleging neglect or abuse shall be referred to the department, which shall conduct an investigation to determine the best interests of the child with regard to any action to be taken. The name and information regarding the person making the report shall not be disclosed absent the consent of the informant or a court order.
B. If a report alleging neglect or abuse meets the criteria established pursuant to Section 32A-4-4.1 NMSA 1978, the department may assign the case to the multilevel response system.
C. During the investigation of a report alleging neglect or abuse, the matter may be referred to another appropriate agency and conferences may be conducted for the purpose of effecting adjustments or agreements that will obviate the necessity for filing a petition. A representative of the department shall, at the initial time of contact with the party subject to the investigation, advise the party of the reports or allegations made, in a manner that is consistent with laws protecting the rights of the informant. The parties shall be advised of their basic rights and no party may be compelled to appear at any conference, to produce any papers or to visit any place. The investigation shall be completed within a reasonable period of time from the date the report was made.
D. After completion of the investigation on a neglect or abuse report, the department shall either recommend or refuse to recommend the filing of a petition.
E. When a child is taken into custody, the department shall file a petition within three days, unless the provisions of Subsection F of Section 32A-4-7 NMSA 1978 apply, in which case the petition shall be filed within five days.
F. When the department files a petition, it shall simultaneously provide to the office of family representation and advocacy, and if a child is an Indian child, to the child's Indian nation, tribe or pueblo:
(1) the petition;
(2) the name, telephone numbers and addresses of each respondent; [and]
(3) the names, dates of birth and placement information for each child who is a subject of the petition, including:
(a) the type of placement; and
(b) the name, telephone number and address for the person or entity that holds the license for each child's placement; and
(4) written certification of the child's enrollment in state medical assistance programs or other public assistance programs that the child is entitled to.
G. If a petition is not filed in a timely manner, the child shall be released to the child's parent, guardian or custodian."
SECTION 5. Section 32A-4-21 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1993, Chapter 77, Section 115, as amended) is amended to read:
"32A-4-21. NEGLECT OR ABUSE PREDISPOSITION STUDIES, REPORTS AND EXAMINATIONS.--
A. Prior to holding a dispositional hearing, the court shall direct that a predisposition study and report be submitted in writing to the court by the department.
B. The predisposition study required pursuant to Subsection A of this section shall contain the following information:
(1) a statement of the specific reasons for intervention by the department or for placing the child in the department's custody and a statement of the parent's ability to care for the child in the parent's home without causing harm to the child;
(2) a statement of how an intervention plan is designed to achieve placement of the child in the least restrictive setting available, consistent with the best interests and special needs of the child, including a statement of the likely harm the child may suffer as a result of being removed from the parent's home, including emotional harm that may result due to separation from the child's parents, and a statement of how the intervention plan is designed to place the child in close proximity to the parent's home without causing harm to the child due to separation from parents, siblings or any other person who may significantly affect the child's best interest;
(3) the wishes of the child as to the child's custodian;
(4) a statement of the efforts the department has made to identify and locate all grandparents and other relatives and to conduct home studies on any appropriate relative expressing an interest in providing care for the child, and a statement as to whether the child has a family member who, subsequent to study by the department, is determined to be qualified to care for the child;
(5) a description of services offered to the child, the child's family and the child's foster care family and a summary of reasonable efforts made to prevent removal of the child from the child's family or reasonable efforts made to reunite the child with the child's family;
(6) a description of the home or facility in which the child is placed and the appropriateness of the child's placement;
(7) the results of any diagnostic examination or evaluation ordered at the custody hearing;
(8) a statement of the child's medical and educational background;
(9) a case plan that sets forth steps to ensure that the child's physical, medical, cultural, psychological and educational needs are met and that sets forth services to be provided to the child and the child's parents to facilitate permanent placement of the child in the parent's home;
(10) for children sixteen years of age and older, a plan for developing the specific skills the child requires for successful transition into independent living as an adult, regardless of whether the child is returned to the child's parent's home;
(11) a case plan that sets forth steps to ensure that the child's educational needs are met and, for a child fourteen years of age or older, a case plan that specifically sets forth the child's educational and post-secondary goals; [and]
(12) a description of the child's foster care placement and whether it is appropriate in terms of the educational setting and proximity to the school the child was enrolled in at the time of the placement, including plans for travel for the child to remain in the school in which the child was enrolled at the time of placement, if reasonable and in the child's best interest; and
(13) written certification of the child's enrollment in state medical assistance programs and other public assistance programs that the child is entitled to.
C. A copy of the predisposition report shall be provided by the department to counsel for all parties five days before the dispositional hearing.
D. If the child is an adjudicated abused child, any temporary custody orders shall remain in effect until the court has received and considered the predispositional study at the dispositional hearing."
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