Capitol Correspondence - 10.25.23

HCBS Relief Act Introduced to Support Community Providers

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Yesterday, the HCBS Relief Act of 2023 (S.3118) has been introduced in Congress. This crucial legislation aims to address the challenges faced by millions of individuals with disabilities and older Americans who rely on Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) for their daily needs.

An estimated 61 million people with disabilities and 54 million older Americans are eligible for Medicaid LTSS, with up to 95% preferring to receive these services in their own homes. However, according to ANCOR’s State of America’s Direct Support Workforce Crisis 2022, due to workforce shortages and lack of adequate funding, 63% of community-based providers nationally reveal they have been forced to close programs, an 85.3% increase in service closures since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, access to home and community-based services (HCBS) has been significantly impacted.

The goal of the HCBS Relief Act is to extend the 10-point increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) authorized under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for Medicaid for an additional two fiscal years. These additional funds will enable states and providers to strengthen the direct support workforce and ensure better access to I/DD services. The act will also require states to provide reports on funded activities, and external evaluations that will assess the impact of HCBS.

Make sure to let your members of Congress know the importance of this legislation using ANCOR’s Action Alert.