Please take a moment to read this message and act quickly to help prevent people with disabilities from potentially losing access to the long-term services and supports they need to live and work in their communities. It will only take a few minutes of your time. We must act no later than Monday, October 31 by 4:00 pm.
A proposed rule for the Affordable Care Act (the federal health insurance reform law), if enacted, could cause some people with disabilities to lose eligibility for some services that enable them to live and work in the community and not live in institutions. Examples of services that could be impacted for specific individuals, based on the new eligibility rules, include those provided through Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waivers such as attendant services and supported employment.
The proposed rule could result in many people with disabilities being enrolled in a new Medicaid group – the Adult Group – starting in 2014, because of the new eligibility rules. The new group provides more limited coverage – called “Essential Benefits” - than Medicaid groups that now serve many people with disabilities. The rules could prevent many people from enrolling in other Medicaid groups, including the Medicaid Buy-In (the Employed Individuals with Disabilities (EID) Program in Maryland) and Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (1915c) waivers. The proposed rule needs to be changed to ensure that individuals with disabilities don’t lose services they currently receive, especially those enrolled in Medicaid waivers. For example, many unmarried individuals with taxable income under $1,252/month would be enrolled in the Adult Group and not receive some long-term services and supports.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is accepting public comment on the rule. If CMS receives enough comments suggesting a rule change, the agency MAY modify the rule. You can submit comments by using the following link: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=CMS-2011-0139-0002. Simply enter your name, agency (if any) and comments. Please feel free to paste the following comment, or to submit your own:
“People with disabilities who would be eligible for the Adult Group need to keep access to long-term services and supports in the community that the Adult Group is not likely to provide. Please ensure that people with disabilities can retain eligibility for services they now receive through other Medicaid groups, including Home and Community Based Services Waivers and Medicaid Buy-In Programs. A revised rule should ensure that (1) people are asked whether they have disabilities and need long-term services and supports when they apply for Medicaid and (2) people with disabilities either be exempt from the Adult Group if they need long-term services and supports they can get through other Medicaid groups, or get access to additional long-term services if they enroll in the Adult Group and have or acquire disabilities that require these services. People with disabilities who are eligible for the Adult Group, but not for other Medicaid groups, should still be able to enroll in the Adult Group.”
It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time
Thursday, October 27, 2011