Generally, children with disabilities are eligible for all of the pathways available to adults with disabilities. Although these children could qualify under the low-income pathways, pathways specific to individuals with disabilities may provide additional benefits. There are two optional pathways that are available only to children—the Katie Beckett pathway and the Family Opportunity Act pathway—which allow states to cover children with disabilities receiving services in the community.
Under the Katie Beckett option, states can cover children under age 19 who are disabled and living at home and who would be eligible for Medicaid if they were living in an institution. The Family Opportunity Act allows children with disabilities whose family income is below 300 percent of the federal poverty level to buy into Medicaid. As of 2015, 49 states and the District of Columbia offer the Katie Beckett option or comparable coverage, while 5 states have adopted the option authorized in the Family Opportunity Act (O’Malley Watts et al. 2016).