The ICAMA is a contract among member states and U.S.
territories. The ICAMA ensures the delivery of Medicaid and other post-adoption
services to Adoption Assistance Program (AAP)-eligible children when their
families move across state lines. California joined the ICAMA under Welfare and
Institutions Code Sections 16170-16177.
The AAP provides financial and medical benefits. The AAP
is designed to make it easier for families to adopt special needs children,
thereby providing permanent homes for children who would otherwise remain in
foster care. For more information regarding the AAP in California, see
Adoptions Assistance Program.
In 1980, Congress passed the Adoption Assistance and
Child Welfare Act, Public Law (PL) 96-272, which established the AAP and
provided federal funding for financial and medical assistance. Adoption
Assistance Program-eligible children were automatically entitled to receive
Medicaid from the state that entered into an adoption assistance agreement with
the child’s family. In addition, PL 96-272 required states to protect the
interests of adopted special needs children in interstate situations.
In 1985, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation
Act (COBRA) required states to grant Medicaid eligibility to children whose
families signed an adoption assistance agreement with another state. However,
COBRA did not provide for implementation of this requirement. The COBRA also
gave states the choice of providing Medicaid to non-federally eligible children
receiving state adoption assistance.
In the mid-1980’s, the ICAMA was drafted to create a
framework for the interstate cooperation originally envisioned in PL 96-272.
The ICAMA provides uniformity and consistency of policy and procedures when
either a special needs child is adopted by a family in another state or the
adoptive family moves to another state. The ICAMA resolves the differences in
each state’s Medicaid program. The ICAMA procedures ensure that statutory and program
requirements are met. While ICAMA promotes reciprocity of medical services, not
all states provide Medicaid coverage to non-federally eligible children who
have a signed adoption assistance agreement from another state.
Currently, 49 states including the District of
Columbia are members of the ICAMA, New York is an associate member. Each member
state has an ICAMA Compact Administrator. This person works with both in-state
and out of state officials to ensure the provision of benefits and services for
adopted special needs children, to process the ICAMA forms, and to serve as an
information resource. In California, a Staff Services Manager (SSMI) in
the California Department of Social Services (CDSS), Children and Family
Services Division, and a SSMI in the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS),
Medical Services Division, serve as Co-Compact Administrators.
The ICAMA administrators formed the Association of
Administrators for the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance
(AAICAMA). The AAICAMA provides technical and legal assistance, training, and
information to adoption professionals regarding issues related to both
interstate and intrastate adoptions. For additional information, the
AAICAMA may be contacted at:
1133 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Phone (202) 682-0100
Fax (202) 289-6555
AAICAMA website: www.aaicama.org/cms/