OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5297

AN ACT CONCERNING THE STATUS OF THE MONEY FOLLOWS THE PERSON PROJECT.

SUMMARY:

The federal Money Follows the Person (MFP) Demonstration program is a five-year program that permits states to move individuals out of nursing homes or other institutional settings and into less-restrictive, community-based settings. This bill requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner to provide MFP status reports to the Human Services and Aging committees, semiannually, starting October 1, 2009.

To meet this requirement, the commissioner must provide the committees with a copy of any report he is required to submit to the federal Department of Health and Human Services pertaining to (1) the program's implementation status, (2) the anticipated date the first eligible participant will transition into the community, and (3) the department's plan to transition additional eligible participants into the community. Reports prepared prior to October 1, 2009 must be submitted to the committees by that date.

If the commissioner is not required to submit an MFP status report to the federal government during any six month period, he must prepare and submit his own report addressing these issues to the committees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009

BACKGROUND

MFP

In 2005, Congress, as part of the Deficit Reduction Act, enacted the MFP provisions as a way to encourage states to rebalance their long-term care spending by moving individuals from nursing homes or other institutions into less-restrictive, community-based settings.  The law requires that program participants (1) reside in the nursing home for at least six months and (2) need a nursing home level of care once they leave.

States that run the demonstration projects are eligible for an enhanced federal match (75% instead of 50%) of state expenditures for the first year of Medicaid-eligible services.  For some of these services, states must commit to providing them once the year is up through some other authority (e. g. , federal home- and community-based services waiver).  Federal matching funds (50%) are also available to support services not allowed by Medicaid that the state will provide during the demonstration, such as housing coordinators.

Other federal laws allow states to provide Medicaid–funded community-based services to the elderly and disabled and Connecticut currently runs several waiver programs that offer these services.  These programs generally have enrollment caps. State law allows the DSS commissioner to modify the existing Medicaid waivers if necessary for carrying out the demonstration.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Select Committee on Aging

Joint Favorable Substitute Change of Reference

Yea

10

Nay

0

(02/17/2009)

Human Services Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

17

Nay

1

(03/12/2009)