A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) warns that the termination of payments to family caregivers, which were allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic, may intensify workforce shortages in Medicaid home- and community-based services (HCBS). Over 4 million individuals rely on Medicaid HCBS, making it a vital program for elderly and disabled Americans. Medicaid spent approximately $162 billion on HCBS in 2020, out of a total of $245 billion in HCBS spending, as Medicare generally does not cover these services.
As states phase out payments to family caregivers and reverse pandemic-era policies, there is concern that this could further complicate ongoing workforce shortages and create new challenges for enrollees. The KFF survey of state Medicaid HCBS officials, conducted between May and August, reveals that 12 states plan to end payments to family caregivers who are legally responsible for the person they are caring for, while five states intend to terminate payments to other types of family caregivers.
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