Federal Legislation Improves Home and Community-Based Services  

Sean Webb Blog

 The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, passed in March, increased the federal matching rate, also known as the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), for Medicaid home and community-based services. Read on for more information about the new services that the legislation offers to the limb loss and limb difference community.  
 

Home and community-based services (HCBS) are designed to enable individuals to receive care in their home or community rather than being moved to a facility for care. HCBS eligibility requirements vary from state to state for the programs and services offered.  HCBS typically falls under two categories: health services or human services. Health services provide services that meet an individual’s medical needs. Human services provide services that support activities of daily living.   

 

All states and Washington, D.C. provide “HCBS waivers” which are the home and community-based services through Medicaid. The individuals who qualify to receive HCBS must meet state requirements. These requirements vary ranging from requiring an individual to receive Medicaid and income caps to the level of care required. The target populations for states generally are the elderly (anyone 65 and over), people with physical disabilities, adults, and children with developmental disabilities, and medically fragile individuals who require life support or other extensive medical equipment. For information on how your state plans to spend the additional federal money, visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) at https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/home-community-based-services/guidance/strengthening-and-investing-home-and-community-based-services-for-medicaid-beneficiaries-american-rescue-plan-act-of-2021-section-9817-spending-plans-and-narratives/index.html.   

 

The Amputee Coalition also developed a fact sheet to further explain services available to the limb loss and limb difference community through the home and community-based services. You may access the fact sheet at https://www.amputee-coalition.org/resources/home-community-based-services/.