Affordable Care Act helps Iowa residents receive care in their communities
June 14, 2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that Iowa will receive an estimated $61.8 million as a result of the resources made available by the Affordable Care Act. The funds will be used to help Iowa seniors and people with disabilities choose to live at home rather than in a nursing home or other facility. The Iowa funds are a vital component of a broad State-based approach to expand community-based care provided by the Affordable Care Act's Balancing Incentive Program. Marilyn Tavenner, CMS acting administrator, said CMS is "pleased that Iowa is one of many States working to expand community services and supports."
While federal Medicaid law requires States to pay for institutional care for the elderly or persons with disabilities who may need assistance with their activities of daily living, Medicaid coverage for home or community-based services is optional. And while all States have opted to provide such coverage, consumer demand frequently exceeds the State's available resources.
The health care law offers States additional resources through an increase in their federal Medicaid matching rates for home and community-based services, if a State commits to increasing access to these services. A total of $3 billion is available to States under the Affordable Care Act's Balancing Incentive Program.
The Administration strongly supports ensuring that people with Medicaid can get the support they need to continue to live in their communities. 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.
States are eligible for the Balancing Incentive Program if less than 50 percent of their total long-term care spending goes toward home and community-based services. The enhanced Medicaid payments must be spent increasing the availability of home and community-based services for Medicaid beneficiaries with long-term needs. The Iowa Department of 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.
For more information on the Balancing Incentive Program please visit: http://www.medicaid.gov/Medicaid-CHIP-Program-Information/By-Topics/Long-Term-Services-and-Support/Balancing/Balancing-Incentive-Program.html