The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released an Informational Bulletin on June 26 that provides information on how communities can use Medicaid to fund housing-related services. The Bulletin is intended to help states design Medicaid benefits, and to clarify the circumstances under which Medicaid can reimburse providers for certain housing-related activities. The goal is to promote community integration for persons with disabilities, older adults who need long-term services and support, and people experiencing chronic homelessness.
Although the Bulletin is oriented to state Medicaid agencies, it provides an opportunity for housing and service providers to reach out to their state Medicaid agency to discuss improving the state’s Medicaid benefit package by including housing-based services for Medicaid beneficiaries.
The Bulletin declares that CMS is committed to helping states expand home- and community-based living opportunities consistent with the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid’s Home and Community Based Services rule, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision.
The Bulletin explains that housing-related activities include a range of flexible services and support for persons with disabilities and older adults needing long-term services and supports. It also includes collaborative efforts among key Medicaid and housing agency staff and stakeholders.
Housing-related activities and services are:
- Individual Housing Transition Services that support an individual’s ability to prepare for and transition to housing,
- Individual Housing and Tenancy Sustaining Services that help an individual be a successful tenant able to sustain tenancy, and
- State-level Housing Related Collaborative Activities that support collaborative efforts among public agencies and the private sector that help a state identify and secure housing options for individuals with disabilities, older adults needing long-term services and supports, and people experiencing chronic homelessness.
The CMS Informational Bulletin is at http://www.medicaid.gov/federal-policy-guidance/downloads/CIB-06-26-2015.pdf
A Program and Policy Alert that has links to additional resources was prepared by the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Technical Assistance Collaborative, the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, and the Corporation for Supportive Housing, http://b.3cdn.net/naeh/59fa95b3b70ca13085_xxm6bhhoy.pdf