WASHINGTON, D.C. – Maine has received a $21 million Balancing Incentives Program grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, it was announced Wednesday.
The grant is designed to help seniors and people with disabilities live in their communities, helping to ensure that Maine residents can choose to receive care at home rather than in a nursing home or other facility. The grant money will last approximately two years.
“This critical investment is another example of how the Affordable Care Act is working to expand health care options in Maine,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud in a press release announcing the award. “This program will help expand opportunities for Mainers to receive care in home and community-based settings.”
The Balancing Incentives Program, which was created by the Affordable Care Act, rewards states that work to increase access to non-institutionally based long-term care services and support. States are awarded funding through an increase in the amount of federal matching funds for investments made to provide new or expanded offerings of non-institutionally based long-term care services and support under the state Medicaid program.
“The Affordable Care Act gives many seniors and people with disabilities the freedom to continue to live in their homes and communities,” said CMS Administrator Tavenner in a press release. “CMS is excited to partner with Maine to expand community-based services and supports for Mainers.”
Maine is the 16th state to participate in the Balancing Incentive Program. Others are Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas.
Medicaid coverage for home or community-based services is optional. While all states have opted to provide such coverage, consumer demand frequently exceeds the state’s available resources. The Affordable Care Act offers states additional resources through an increase in their federal Medicaid matching rates for home and community-based services, when a state commits to increasing access to these services. Participation in the program is voluntary for states.
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.
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
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