ROSCOMMON - The Children's Special Health Care Services (CSHCS) program provides assistance and support to person’s
birth to 21 years of age who have a chronic medical condition that requires regular care by a doctor. The CSHCS
program helps to pay medical costs related to the child’s medical diagnosis. Examples of medical conditions that
are often covered include kidney disease, birth defects, cystic fibrosis, cleft palate/lip, and cancer. Clients with
cystic fibrosis or certain blood clotting disorders can be enrolled in the program for their entire life. There are
over 2,700 medical conditions that can qualify a child for the CSHCS program.

The staff at Central Michigan District Health Department (CMDHD) have made it a goal to provide CSHCS
education to families and doctors so that the community can better understand the program and its benefits.
There are no income limits to this program; however, there may be a co-pay or payment plan for some families
with higher incomes. Families with private health insurance are also eligible for CSHCS. Families can apply for
the program after a child has received a medical diagnosis and been found eligible through a physician review
of their medical history.

This is what a mother of a CSHCS client had to say about the program: “I just want to take the time to
express how this program has helped my family. The health care system is not easy to understand and it seems
the rules change all the time. Without this program to help navigate the system, I would be lost. I can call my
health department and they either know the answer or are able to get me the answer within a short time. They
are someone who can help you figure out how to get help paying for services needed. These children have special
medical conditions that require families to be constantly visiting doctors, getting equipment, and to just learn to
survive the day.

Doctors’ offices do not help get finances around nor do they walk you through a complicated
system. Taking care of special needs children often require all the energy and time a family has. The utter
frustration of dealing with insurance companies would result in these children not getting all they need if not for
this wonderful program. When my son was born with problems my emotional state was up and down but the 
staff from the health department have been there for me. I feel secure in knowing that if I need anything they will be able to help me.” - Parent of special needs child.

Once a child is enrolled, CSHCS local office staff can help to provide:
• Assistance in obtaining reimbursement for travel and lodging when visiting out-of-town doctors
• Help with finding specialty physicians, hospitals, and services specific to the child’s diagnosis
• Help with services for children with special needs that cannot be provided by other state funded
• Care Coordination, Support groups, and Community-based services
• Help to find resources specific to the family needs
• Education regarding the CSHCS medical condition
• Planning the transition of young people to adult health care

CSHCS is administered by the State of Michigan, with local representatives assigned for each county health
department. For more information, please visit You can also call the CSHCS Family
Center Phone Line at 1-800-359-3722 or your local health department.
Please call or visit your local CMDHD branch office for more information.

Arenac County: (989) 846-6541 Isabella County: (989) 773-5921
Clare County: (989) 539-6731 Osceola County: (231) 832-5532
Gladwin County: (989) 426-9431 Roscommon County: (989) 366-9166

This article has been brought to you by Central Michigan District Health Department, which serves the
counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola, and Roscommon. Visit our website at,
LIKE Central Michigan District Health Department on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CMiDHD.

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