Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Affordable Care Act Supports States in Strengthening Community Living

Kathleen SebeliusImage via Wikipedia
Yesterday Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that nationally, $4.3 Billion in new funds will be provided to help establish and expand community-based alternatives to institutional long term care.  Through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) 13 states will receive additional funding for two programs, the Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program and the Community First Choice Option program, in support of the goal to help move Medicaid beneficiaries out of institutions and into their own homes or other community settings now and in the near future. 

The Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program, which was set to expire in fiscal year 2011, is extended through the Affordable Care Act for an additional five years.  The 13 States receiving awards today join the 29 States and the District of Columbia already operating MFP programs.  Together, these States will receive more than $45 million in the first year of the program, and more than $621 million through 2016. 

Many of the same goals under the MFP demonstration are shared and supported by the Community First Choice (CFC) Option, created by the Affordable Care Act. Today, nursing homes and institutions are too often the first or only choice for people with Medicaid who need long term care. The goal of this new option is to give States additional resources to make community living a first choice, and leave nursing homes and institutions as a fall back option.  Starting in October, this option will allow States to receive a six percent increase in federal matching funds for providing community-based attendant services and supports to people with Medicaid.  Over the next three years—through 2014—States could see a total of $3.7 billion in new funds to provide these services.  States currently receive Federal Medicaid matching funds for these activities at the State’s normal matching rate. 

To read the complete press release regarding this announcement, which includes a list of the 13 states that received funding, please go to   
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