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The Intersection of Medicaid, Special Education Service Delivery, and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented health and education challenges for children with disabilities, many of whom receive special education services. Many children receiving special education services have substantial health care needs, and services available through a child’s health insurance plan, such as Medicaid, can complement special education services. This brief explains how Medicaid and special education services intersect, explores the pandemic’s implications for children receiving special education services, and identifies key issues to watch moving forward.

New Analysis of Historical Rates of Medicaid Enrollment Churn Sheds Light on the Implications for the End of the Continuous Enrollment Requirement Tied to Pandemic Funding

For more than a year-and-a-half, the continuous enrollment requirement tied to enhanced Medicaid funding during the COVID-19 pandemic has all but halted enrollment “churn,” the temporary loss of coverage in which people disenroll from Medicaid and then re-enroll within a short period of time. Such disenrollments are expected to resume…

In Focus Groups, Direct Care Workers and Unpaid Caregivers Describe Low-Wage, Physically-Challenging Work That is Often Mentally Overwhelming and Marked By Uncertainty

In recent focus group interviews, 32 paid direct care workers and unpaid caregivers who assist seniors and people with disabilities with self-care and household activities describe daily work defined by low pay, physical demands and mental stress that has been made worse by the pandemic. KFF conducted the four focus…

Voices of Paid and Family Caregivers for Medicaid Enrollees Receiving HCBS

To help inform the ongoing debate, KFF conducted four focus groups in July and August 2021 with direct care workers and unpaid caregivers who provide HCBS, assisting seniors and people with disabilities with daily self-care and household activities. These focus groups are not necessarily generalizable to all caregivers, but can provide insight into their experiences to help inform current policy debates.

Analysis Examines Insurance Coverage, Affordability and Access to Home and Community-Based Services for Children with Special Health Care Needs

A new KFF analysis examines key characteristics of children with special health care needs, the affordability and adequacy of their health coverage, and the implications for such children of potential new federal Medicaid money to assist families in caring for them. Medicaid is a significant source of coverage for medical,…

Children with Special Health Care Needs: Coverage, Affordability, and HCBS Access

This issue brief provides context for ongoing policy discussions by describing key characteristics of children with special health care needs, comparing insurance affordability and access to key benefits among those covered by Medicaid/CHIP and those with private insurance, and considering the implications of additional Medicaid HCBS funding for children with special health care needs.

Direct Care Workforce Shortages Have Worsened in Many States During the Pandemic, Hampering Providers of Home and Community-Based Services

During the pandemic many states have experienced worsening direct care workforce shortages that have affected providers of home- and community-based long-term care services (HCBS), according to early findings of a new KFF survey of Medicaid HCBS programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Most states reported workforce…

State Medicaid Home & Community-Based Services (HCBS) Programs Respond to COVID-19: Early Findings from a 50-State Survey

This issue brief presents early findings from the most recent KFF survey of Medicaid HCBS programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It focuses on state policies adopted in response to challenges posed by the pandemic, the pandemic’s impact on Medicaid HCBS enrollees and providers, and states’ initial plans for the new American Rescue Plan Act 10 percentage point temporary increase in federal Medicaid matching funds for HCBS available from April 2021 through March 2022.

State Options to Expand Medicaid HCBS: Examples & Evaluations of Section 1115 Waivers

States are currently developing plans to access an increased federal matching rate (“FMAP”) for Medicaid HCBS spending established in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. In the future, states may also be able to access increased HCBS funds proposed in the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan and the Better Care Better Jobs Act recently introduced in Congress. This brief highlights examples of Medicaid HCBS policy changes authorized through Section 1115 demonstration waivers in seven states (Arizona, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington). Where available, we discuss waiver evaluation findings and reports that assess the impact of these policy changes.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.