In Kansas, Disabled Adults Can Wait 7 Years To Get Medicaid Coverage
Advocates for people with disabilities say Gov. Sam Brownback's decision to move the management of Medicaid services to private companies has not improved services. Meanwhile, in Florida, officials are looking at plans to reimburse similar private companies if they find residential placements for people with severe mental illness or substance use disorders.
The Wait To Get Medicaid Help Can Be 7 Years In Kansas
For 22 years, Nick Fugate washed dishes at a local hotel near his home in Olathe, Kan. "There was nothing easy," he says, and chuckles. "I just constantly had to scrape the dishes off to get them clean." ... But things got tough last year when Nick lost his job and his health insurance. For the first time, he enrolled in Medicaid. He got his basic medical care covered right away, but in Kansas, there's now a long waitlist — a 7-year wait — for people with intellectual disabilities to get the services they need. Decades ago, Fugate might have been institutionalized, but Medicaid now provides services to help people remain independent — including job coaching, help buying groceries, food preparation and transportation. These are the services Nick is eligible for but must wait to receive through Medicaid. (Smith, 11/16)
Florida Looks To Cover Housing Services Under Medicaid
Florida wants to pilot a program that would reimburse managed-care plans for residential placement and other services for Medicaid enrollees with severe mental illness or substance use disorders. If approved by the CMS, Medicaid beneficiaries in Florida would be eligible to receive services such as help searching and applying for a rental home and assistance finding ways to subsidize rent. (Dickson, 11/16)