CMS on Thursday issued guidance to states on how they can get additional federal funding to increase access to home and community-based services for Medicaid beneficiaries.
Congress temporarily increased states' federal matching funds for such benefits by 10% in March's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, also known as the American Rescue Plan. The funds should help Medicaid beneficiaries maintain access to long-term services and support in their home and other nearby care settings.
"Millions of individuals across the county — including people with disabilities and older Americans — rely on home-based care and the workforce that provides that critical care. The Biden-Harris administration continues to support states and workers by making critically needed investments in-home and community-based services," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
The extra funding became available April 1 and will last through Mar. 2022.
According to a letter from CMS to state Medicaid directors, states can use the funds to pay for certain state plan benefits, waivers and demonstrations. They can also use the money to support related COVID-19 activities like new or additional home and community-based services to reduce the risk of institutionalization during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
But states can't use enhanced federal funding to pay for activities that are administrative in nature, according to CMS.
"For example, Medicaid administrative claiming for HCBS activities performed by state No Wrong Door systems and state long-term care ombudsman programs are not eligible for the increased (federal medical assistance percentage)," the letter said.