State Requirements

Homepage        Login          Sign-Up         Forum       Toys & Products        About Us           

FAQ - Iowa Child Care Assistance Invoices

Q1. Starting with service provided July 1, 2007, I have the option of submitting my invoices either bi-weekly or twice a month. Can I still file my claims monthly?
A1. Yes. Monthly claims work well for providers who don't want to fill out the paperwork more often than that. For those who want to be paid more often, your option is to claim every two weeks or twice a month.

Q2. What's the difference between twice a month and every two weeks?
A2. Claims filed twice a month will always cover service that spans just one month. Claims filed every two weeks will often overlap two months.

Q3. Does it make a difference which one I choose?
A3. Actually, yes. Federal rules require the DHS to keep track of child care payments month to month. Thus, there will be extra processing for claims that span more than one month. If you want to be reimbursed more often than monthly, the Department would appreciate it if you filed claims twice a month rather than bi-weekly.

Q4. What's the turnaround time?
A4. No matter what claiming option you choose, the new law requires the Department to send a check to you in ten business days. That assumes the claim was filled out correctly.

Q5. What if there are errors?
A5. That depends on the type of error. If it's a simple error in multiplication, the Department will fix the math and process the claim. But if the claim includes ineligible children or more hours of care than authorized or other significant errors, the claim will be returned to the provider. In these cases, the law requires the Department to return the claim to you within five business days.

Q6. What do I do if the form is returned to me?
A6. When the Department returns a form because of errors, we will also send a letter explaining what was wrong. You need to complete a new form, fix the error, and send it back to us.

Q7. I just received a letter saying my claim was in error. The letter tells me how to fix it, but in the past, the DHS office fixed this sort of error instead of sending it back to me. Why the change?
A7. It's possible that there will be more claims returned to providers to fix. That's because the attorney general's office has informed us that it's improper for our employees to correct some types of errors. We're trying to avoid errors in the pirst place.

Q8. What are you doing to help avoid errors?
A8. We have redesigned the invoice form to make it clearer. The most important change is the reverse side, where we now have line-by-line instructions that remind you how to fill in the claim. Also notice the prominent place to sign the form.

Q9. What can I do to speed up the process?
A9. Be sure to accurately fill out the form:

1. Submit an invoice for payment only after you have received notification from DHS that you are approved to receive CCA payments.
2. Claims for reimbursement must include only eligible children. You will receive a Notice of Decision that approves care for the child. If we have not sent this notice, we cannot make payments to you.
3. Claims for reimbursement cannot exceed the number of units per child as authorized in the Notice of Decision. A 'unit' is up to five hours of care.
4. Use the correct service code for each child (Not applicable to PROMISE JOBS Child Care Attendance and Invoice):

  Center Registered A or B
Registered C
1501 1601 1401 1602
1516 1616 1416 1617
School age
1546 1646 1446 1647

5 Use the correct rates for the children you are billing for. These can be found on your CCA Provider Agreement. The maximum state rates are in the chart below:

  Center Registered A or B
Registered C
$12.00 $11.50 $8.19
$11.25 $11.25 $7.19
School age
$10.00 $10.00 $7.36

6. Be sure to subtract the appropriate family co-pay fee.
7. Check your math!
8. Attach an attendance sheet, signed by the parent, for each child listed on the invoice.
9. Sign the invoice.

Q10. How are my reimbursement rates determined? Are the rates changing?
A10. The rates were changed in January 2007, but they're not changing now. Every two years, the Department conducts a Market Rate Survey (MRS). The MRS evaluates the actual rates being charged by providers statewide. The maximum rates in the Child Care Assistance program are set at the 75th percentile of the rates being charged. This means that the DHS rate is high enough to pay the full charges of 75 percent of Iowa's providers.

Q11. Why don't you pay me what I put on the CCA Provider Agreement?
A11. We ask for your payment rates on the CCA Provider Agreement because we will pay you the rates you normally charge your private-pay families for service as long as they do not exceed our maximum payment rates (see the state rate chart above). If your private-pay rates are greater than our maximum rates, then you will be paid our maximum rates instead of the rates you put on the CCA Provider Agreement.

Q12. What if I have provided more units of care to a child than are on my NOD?
A12. The Department will need to verify why the extra units were needed. Your claim will be paid for the units on your Notice of Decision. DHS (or PROMISE JOBS) may pay additional hours if acceptable verification is received in a supplemental check. NOTE: If you can have your parent send this information along with your claim, it will allow the state to pay your total claim if the verification is acceptable.

Q13. Will I get tax information?
A13. You will receive 1099-Misc forms in the mail by the end of January. DHS reports child care payments to the IRS. You must include the amount of child care paid to you by DHS as income on your annual tax returns.

Q14. Can I watch children in their own home instead of mine?
A14: Yes. But, the family must have at least three (3) children who need care and you must agree to accept $36.25 per unit for the entire group of children.

Q15. What should I do if I no longer care for the children and I cannot get the parent's signature?
A15. Complete the paperwork as you normally would and attach a note about why you do not have the parent's signature.

Q16. What if I need help filling out the claim?
A16. If you need assistance, contact the DHS (or the PROMISE JOBS) office in your area.

Homepage               Login              Sign-Up           Forum          Toys & Products          About Us