The Autism Waiver (AW) is designed to provide community-based, long-term, person-centered therapeutic services and support to eligible children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to enable home and community living as an alternative to institutional care.
House Bill 99 was proposed by Delegate John Hurson during the 1998 legislative session. The General Assembly approved and required the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to apply to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for a Home and Community-Based Services Waiver under Section 1915(c) of the Social Security Act, to serve children with autism. In August 1998, MDH applied for this Waiver to allow children with autism, determined to be eligible for institutional services in an Intermediate Care Facility for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF-IID), to receive AW services in their home and community. On September 1, 2000, MDH received confirmation from CMS that Maryland’s AW was approved and children began receiving services in 2001.
The AW is a partnership between the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) and the MDH. MSDE, through the local school system (LSS), is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the AW. The MDH is charged with the administration of Maryland’s Medicaid program and oversight of the AW. The number of slots allowable is determined by the CMS. The Governor and the Maryland State Legislature approve funding.
The AW Registry is a list of individuals interested in AW services. Families must contact the AW Registry at 866-417-3480 to be eligible to apply to the AW when a vacancy occurs. Children and youth must meet the following criteria to enroll in the AW when eligible to apply:
Autism Waiver Services
AW services are offered by providers who must be approved as Medicaid providers and be appropriately licensed or certified. Statewide, there are over 60 Autism Waiver provider agencies. Provider agencies are approved to provide as few as one or as many as all nine AW services and may serve fewer than five individuals and up to or over 100.
Note: Each Autism Waiver participant also receives Service Coordination/targeted case management through their local school system. In addition, the AW also qualifies the participant for full benefits through Medical Assistance to include health insurance, prescription coverage, dental care, physician and hospital care, home health, laboratory services, disposable medical supplies, durable medical equipment, mental health, and other services.
For more information on the Autism Waiver, call:
Maryland State Department of Education410-767-1446
Maryland Department of Health410-767-5220
Autism Waiver COVID-19 Flexibilities: A Presentation for Families
Maryland Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver Services BROCHURE
Maryland Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver Services BROCHURE - Spanish
Maryland Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver Services FACT SHEET
Autism Waiver APPLICATION for a 1915(c) Home and Community-Based Services Waiver
Application Checklist for the Maryland Medical Assistance Program
Application Checklist for the Maryland Medical Assistance Program/ Application to Become a Provider Agency
You Finally Received the Waiver, Now What
Autism Waiver Rate Methodology Study for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
Towson University Autism Research
Maryland Learning Links
Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) Online
200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2595
© 2021 Maryland State Department of Education