Earlier this year, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). Section 9817 of the ARP provides qualifying states with a temporary 10 percentage point increase to the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) for certain Medicaid expenditures for home and community-based services (HCBS). Late last week, CMS finally provided guidance to states about how they can use the federal funds to supplement, not supplant, existing state funds for Medicaid effective April 1, 2021.
States must use the additional funds equivalent to the amount of federal funds attributable to the increased FMAP to implement or supplement the implementation of one or more activities to enhance, expand, or strengthen HCBS under the Medicaid program.
The guidance letter provided by CMS is to provide guidance to states on the implementation of section 9817 of the ARP, as well as to describe opportunities for states to strengthen the HCBS system in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), increase access to HCBS for Medicaid beneficiaries, adequately protect the HCBS workforce, safeguard financial stability for HCBS providers, and accelerate long-term services and supports (LTSS) reform under section 9817 of the ARP.
“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,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The American Rescue Plan helps to ensure that states can benefit from an increased federal investment in HCBS systems across the country, so that Medicaid beneficiaries receive high quality, cost-effective, person-centered services in their homes and remain a valued part of their communities.”
To read the entire guidance regarding the increased FMAP, click here.