Health reform gives states new opportunities to provide home- and community-based services (HCBS) through Medicaid, the major payer of long-term services for seniors and people with disabilities. The health reform law, signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010, includes two new Medicaid options that will be available to states beginning in October 2011: The Community First Choice Option and the State Balancing Incentive Payments Program. Both are designed to strengthen non-institutional long-term care services in Medicaid, and both give states added federal matching payments to make it easier for them to expand services and develop new systems to support home- and community-based care.
There are several good reasons why states should seriously consider these new opportunities to build home- and community-based services capacity in Medicaid. These state fact sheet explores the following issues:
- The growing demand and rising costs of long-term care;
- How expansion of home- and community-based care can help states; and
- New opportunities that are available in health reform to expand home- and community-based services.