In recent years, it seems that funding for new or existing programs supporting seniors has been reduced or eliminated altogether. Finally, some good news from the Assisted Living Federation of America: CMS (the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) is now awarding grants to states via the Affordable Care Act’s Balancing Incentive Program.
The first state to receive funding is New Hampshire, which was “awarded $26.5 million over the next three years to help keep seniors and people with disabilities out of institutions.”
With $3 billion in state grants available, CMS hopes these Balancing Incentive Program dollars will successfully supplement “Medicaid spending on community services and supports” in states that are currently imbalanced (spending less than half of long-term care expenses on community-based options like home care or assisted living).
Historically, many states have only covered the costs of nursing home care (using Medicaid dollars) for those who have spent down assets. Now, thanks to grants, policy changes, and other legislative initiatives like the Balancing Incentive Program, states are expanding the safety net options to include assisted living care, adult day services, and other community-based choices that allow seniors to age in place. An added bonus? These alternatives are often more cost-effective than nursing home care.