Online Staff Report
June 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced Illinois will receive resources made available by the Affordable Care Act to help seniors and people with disabilities live in their communities. These resources will help ensure Illinois residents can choose to receive care at home, rather than in a nursing home or other facility.
The Illinois award, projected at approximately $90 million, is a vital component of a broad state-based approach to support community-based care provided by the Affordable Care Act’s Balancing Incentive Program.
“The Affordable Care Act gives many seniors and people with disabilities the freedom to continue to live in their homes and communities,” said CMS Administrator Tavenner. “CMS is excited to partner with Illinois to expand community-based services and supports for Illinoisians.”
The announcement makes Illinois the 16th state to participate in the Balancing Incentive Program. Illinois joins Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas in taking steps to provide community-based services to beneficiaries in their states.
Medicaid coverage for home- or community-based services is optional. While all states have opted to provide such coverage, consumer demand frequently exceeds the state’s available resources. The Affordable Care Act offers states additional resources through an increase in their federal Medicaid matching rates for home- and community-based services, when a state commits to increasing access to these services. Participation in the program is voluntary for states.
States are eligible for the Balancing Incentive Program if fewer than 50 percent of their total long-term care spending goes toward home and community-based services. The enhanced Medicaid payments will be spent on increasing the availability of home- and community-based services for Medicaid beneficiaries with long-term care needs. Illinois, 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.
For more about the Balancing Incentive Program, visit http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Long-Term-Services-and-Support/Balancing/Balancing-Incentive-Program.html.
Posted June 12, 2013