EPSDT in Medicaid
Family Resource Brief
The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit gives comprehensive and preventive health care services for kids under age 21 who are enrolled in Medicaid. Services are mandated by law to include:
- Health and developmental history, including
physical and mental health
- Physical examination
- Lab tests, including lead screening
- Vision, hearing, and dental services
- Health education about child development, nutrition, physical activity, and injury and disease prevention
- Diagnosis and treatment
The goal of EPSDT is to diagnose and treat health problems as early as possible. If a child enrolled in Medicaid needs a medically necessary service that will alleviate a medical condition or prevent a condition from getting worse, then the state must provide it. States also must help families by letting them know about EPSDT services and helping them use the services, such as helping to schedule appointments and helping with transportation to medical care. Read details about the EPSDT benefit from HRSA's Maternal and Child Health Bureau web portal on EPSDT.
Do you have questions about Medicaid eligibility? applying for Medicaid? EPSDT services? finding care? These resources will help you find people in your state who can help answer your questions.
Find eligibility criteria,
program descriptions, and
contact information in English
and Spanish for each state's
- Catalyst Center
Family Resources. Contact information in English and
Spanish for state organizations and consumer assistance programs
that help families understand their health insurance options and
help them get health insurance for kids and teens with special
health care needs.
Voices (FV). Family
Voices in Your State and Family
to Family Health Information
Centers (F2F HICs) are family-run centers that provide free, confidential information and can help
you find resources
and services to provide
and pay for health care for kids and teens with special health care needs. You can access local groups at the bottom of the homepage.
Resources and Services
(HRSA): Find a Health Center.
a federally funded health
center that provides free
or low-cost care.
- Insure Kids Now. Links to each state's child and teen health insurance program website. Available in English and Spanish. Telephone: (877) KIDS NOW (543-7669).
- See the MCH Digital Library's Community
Services Locator: An Online Directory for Finding
Community Services for Children and Families.
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment. Information about the EPSDT benefit and services covered.
Health Law Program (NHeLP). Information about EPSDT including an article and an executive summary about how EPSDT works.
- Colorado has a family-friendly version of EPSDT rules and regulations (PDF - 45 KB) on its Medicaid EPSDT website that includes clear language about prevention and treatment services, as well as a state agency staff contact.
- Iowa’s Title V MCH program has a webpage regarding EPSDT that includes information about benefits and visit schedules. It also gives families a toll-free number to contact one of the EPSDT care coordinators in each of the state’s 99 counties for assistance.
- Parent-to-Parent of Vermont produced an excellent guide for parents (particularly those whose children have special health needs) called Six Ways to Access Medicaid/EPSDT (PDF - 1.35 MB).
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Bright Futures.
Health visit forms
and handouts about each age and stage
Futures at Georgetown University:
Booklets, tip sheets, and
forms to help you play an
active role in your kids’
health and well-being and to help
you form partnerships with health professionals.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
schedules and information about developmental
milestones, monitoring, and screening; hearing
loss screening, diagnosis, treatment, and intervention; and newborn
Voices: IMPACT on Health and Wellness. Information about
raising kids, including kids with special health care needs, by
age group or stage of development; a health care
visit checklist; and other resources, including some in Spanish,
to help you improve your kids'
health and well-being.
Need More Information?
- See the MCH Digital Library's Professional Resource Guide, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) Services in Medicaid, for resources about providing and strengthening EPSDT services.
- See the MCH Digital Library's collection of family
resource briefs on topics that include asthma, autism, health insurance and access to care, mental health, and more.
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) Services
in Medicaid: Family Resource Brief, 2nd ed. (July 2014; updated January 2021).
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., MCH Digital Library.
Reviewers: Lauren Agoratus, M.A., parent of a child with multiple disabilities, Family Voices and Family-to-Family Health Information Resource Center at the Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of N.J.; Beth Dworetzky, M.S., Catalyst Center; Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., MCH Digital Library.