State Funding Begins in Obama Effort to Keep Elderly, Disabled in Community
Funds to states supports Obamacare’s shift from institutional care to community supports for those in Medicaid with
March 5, 2012 - New Hampshire will be the first State in the country to receive new Medicaid grant dollars
- $26.5 million
over three years - provided by the Affordable Care Act to help states provide services for the elderly and others with disabilities, according
to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
“Thanks to health reform, more seniors and people with disabilities will be able to continue to live in their homes and
communities, rather than a nursing home,” said Marilyn Tavenner, acting CMS administrator.
”We hope other states will follow New Hampshire’s lead in seeking this new grant money to expand community services and
A total of $3 billion is available to states under the Affordable Care Act’s Balancing Incentive Program.
While federal Medicaid law requires states to pay for institutional care for the elderly or persons with disabilities who
may need assistance with activities of daily life, home or community-based long-term supports are optional. All states, however, operate home
or community-based optional programs in Medicaid but demand frequently exceeds the state’s available resources.
The new grant program is part of an ongoing effort by CMS and states to expand home and community-based services and
The Administration says it strongly supports a shift from institutional care to community services and supports for those with
While most Medicaid dollars for long-term services and supports still go to institutions, the national percentage of Medicaid
spending on home and community based services has more than doubled from 20 percent in 1995 to 43 percent in 2009.
“No one should have to live in an institution or nursing home if they can live in their homes and communities with the
right mix of affordable supports,” said Cindy Mann, director of the CMS Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services.
“These new grants will help
states like New Hampshire give people with long-term care needs the choice about how and where to live their lives.”
States are eligible for these grants, in the form of higher Medicaid matching payments, if they currently spend less than
50 percent of their total long-term care costs on community-based options. The enhanced Medicaid payments must be spent increasing the
availability of long-term community-based services and supports.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Balancing Incentive Program, in partnership with community
organizations throughout the State, plans to further develop the systems of community-based care that serve seniors and individuals with
behavioral health needs, physical disabilities, and intellectual disabilities.
New Hampshire’s grant funds will run from April 1, 2012 through September 30, 2015.
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