PUNS & The Future of ABA Therapy Coverage

The PUNS list (Prioritization of Urgency of Need for Services) is a database in Illinois that tracks the current services and future needs of persons with developmental disabilities. The list was a way of prioritizing the needs of children in Illinois. The PUNS list will not be used for children in need by 2023, as other Medicaid services become available to help with autism services.

While the PUNS list was an important resource in the past, families will also need to be aware of new EPSDT (Medicaid) benefits and how to navigate through them. Families who are familiar with the PUNS list & services offered should look at those services and be aware of what is being continued & discontinued through EPSDT versus continued Waiver Funding.

What does the PUNS List Look At?

The PUNS list primarily focuses on three aspects of coverage:

  • Community Integrated Living Arrangements 
  • Home Based Supports
  • Child Group Homes

These are the primary focus due to the magnitude of the developmental disabilities of qualifying individuals. Needing help with specialized living arrangements takes top priority on the PUNS list.

Other needs the PUNS list looks at include:

  • In-Home Supports
  • Job Coaches
  • Community Day Services
  • Residential Services
  • Therapy Services

These are secondary focuses of the PUNS list, based on priority of needs. Individuals still able to live comfortably at home but still needing healthcare services are the secondary focus of the PUNS list.

The other major factor for priority on the PUNS list is time. Many people in need are on the PUNS list for years before their case is finally accepted by the state.

Waiting for the PUNS list

The PUNS list has 2 categories for individuals seeking help: 

  • Seeking Services (category for people who currently need or desire supports)
  • Planning for Services (category for people who do not currently want or need supports but may in the future).

The seeking services category is the primary focus for priority on the PUNS list, as the individuals in this category actively need help. PUNS selections are based on a person’s cumulative length of time in the Seeking Services Category. As funding is available, individuals are selected from PUNS and invited to apply for DD Waiver services.

The wait for priority on the PUNS list could take years of waiting for families in need of immediate assistance. As more social service programs from Medicaid have become available, the PUNS list has slowly started to fade away.

The PUNS list is basically a waiting list with special criteria. Appealing the speed at which applicants receive help is nearly impossible, as the list is handled internally by the state. The PUNS list started with children in need of medical services as a large portion of the list but has slowly morphed into a priority list for adults who have alternative housing needs.

IABA Consultants & PUNS

To date, as of March 2022, IABA consultants is still the only ABA provider offering services to individuals on the PUNS list. PUNS has primarily morphed into a service used for adults and will actually stop funding children in 2023. 

IABA Consultants will stop accepting waivers from the PUNS list in 2023, as children will no longer be covered. However, starting in July 2022 IABA will be supporting our current PUNS clients to help with access to ABA benefits available through EPSDT.  IABA will continue to provide behavioral therapy to adults with developmental disabilities through the PUNS waiver. 

As of March 2022, IABA Consultants has started accepting Illinois Medicaid as a billing provider. More children are being accepted into the Illinois Medicaid All Kids program, allowing proper funding to be allocated to those in need.

If you have a child who has been waiting on the PUNS list and want to learn more about the Illinois Medicaid All Kids program, click here.

ABA Therapy from IABA Consultants

IABA consultants is now accepting All Kids Medicaid! 

Medicaid Clinic Timeline:

  • Oak Lawn: Current
  • Naperville: May 2022
  • Glenview: Summer 2022
  • Managed Care Plans: Summer 2022

Dates are tentative and may be subject to change.

For details and coverage information, find the location closest to you and give us a call or send us an email.

If you have questions regarding autism treatment, education, or plans to use ABA therapy, we are here for you! Our goal is to make sure no family is turned away due to financial constraints. Our therapy team would love to talk to you. Find the location closest to you and give us a call. We’re here for you.

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