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Key State Policy Choices About Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services

State policy choices about Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) shape these benefits in important ways for the seniors and people with disabilities who rely on them to live independently in the community. This issue brief presents the latest data from the KFF’s annual survey of Medicaid HCBS program policies in all 50 states and DC.

Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services Enrollment and Spending

Medicaid continues to be the primary payer for home and community-based services (HCBS) that help seniors and  people with cognitive, physical, and mental health disabilities and chronic illnesses with self-care and household activities. This issue brief presents Medicaid HCBS enrollment and spending data from KFF’s annual state survey and includes tables with detailed state-level data.

Medicaid’s Role for Women

Medicaid, the nation’s health coverage program for poor and low-income people, provided more than 25 million low-income women with health and long-term care coverage in 2014. Changes to the program financing and structure could have significant implications for low-income women’s access to coverage and care. This fact sheet presents key data points describing the current state of the Medicaid program as it affects women.

Potential Changes to Medicaid Long-Term Care Spousal Impoverishment Rules: States’ Plans and Implications for Community Integration

To financially qualify for Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS), an individual must have a low income and limited assets. In response to concerns that these rules could leave a spouse without adequate means of support when a married individual needs LTSS, Congress created the spousal impoverishment rules in 1988. Originally, these rules required states to protect a portion of a married couple’s income and assets to provide for the “community spouse’s” living expenses when determining nursing home financial eligibility, but gave states the option to apply the rules to home and community-based services (HCBS) waivers.
Section 2404 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), changed the spousal impoverishment rules to treat Medicaid HCBS and institutional care equally from January 2014 through December 2018. Congress subsequently extended Section 2404 through March 2019. This issue brief answers key questions about the spousal impoverishment rules, presents 50-state data from a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation survey about state policies and future plans in this area, and considers the implications if Congress does not further extend Section 2404.

Medicare Open Enrollment FAQs

This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Medicare Open Enrollment covers a range of topics related to Medicare enrollment, Medicare Advantage, Part D, Medigap, employer/retiree coverage, Medicaid and other low-income assistance, Medicare and the Marketplaces, and more.

How Might Older Nonelderly Medicaid Adults with Disabilities Be Affected By Work Requirements in Section 1115 Waivers?

Most of the states with approved or pending Section 1115 waivers that condition Medicaid eligibility on work would apply those requirements to all or most nonelderly adults (ages 19-64) who are not receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash assistance, including older nonelderly adults (ages 50-64). Older nonelderly adults may be limited in their ability to satisfy a work requirement due to barriers resulting from age and/or disability. Previous analysis shows that many nonelderly Medicaid adults (ages 19-64) have functional limitations that may interfere with their ability to work but do not rise to the stringent SSI level of disability, making them potentially subject to work requirements. Older nonelderly adults are over twice as likely to have a disability than younger adults (17% vs. 7%). Furthermore, older nonelderly adults account for nearly half (45%) of all nonelderly Medicaid adults with a disability but not SSI who could be affected by a work requirement. This analysis examines the implications of work requirements for Medicaid adults ages 50 to 64 (referred to as “older nonelderly Medicaid adults”) and provides national and state level estimates of their disability, SSI, and work status using data from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS).

Data Note: Data Do Not Support Relationship Between Medicaid Expansion Status and Home and Community-Based Services Waiver Waiting Lists

Some have said that state choices about whether to adopt the ACA’s Medicaid expansion come at the expense of providing Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). Since 2002, the Kaiser Family Foundation has surveyed states about their HCBS waiver waiting lists. All states offer at least one HCBS waiver for seniors and people with disabilities today. States choose how many people to serve under these waivers, and their ability to limit enrollment can result in waiting lists when the number of people seeking services exceeds the number of waiver slots. This analysis examines the most recent data available, including HCBS waiver waiting list data for 2015 and 2016. The data do not support a relationship between a state’s Medicaid expansion status, which is primarily financed with federal funds, and changes in its HCBS waiver waiting list.

Medicaid’s Role for Children with Special Health Care Needs: A Look at Eligibility, Services, and Spending

This issue brief describes the role that Medicaid plays for children with special health care needs. It explains common eligibility pathways, covered services, and program spending for these children. The Appendix includes 50-state data on the number of children with special health care needs covered by Medicaid/CHIP. A companion brief compares key characteristics of Medicaid/CHIP children with special health care needs to those covered by private insurance.