Florida lawmakers are proposing changes to a Medicaid program
Florida Lawmakers are proposing changes to a Medicaid program for people with disabilities this year that would contract out some of its functions and support services, the latest in a years-long effort to restrain state spending on some of its most vulnerable Floridians. Advocates for people in the program say they fear the move could hurt the care they receive and add bureaucratic red tape to an already convoluted process…
The Florida Developmental Disabilities Council (FDDC) works to change laws in order to help people with disabilities. This year, their main focus is the iBudget Medicaid waiver. The iBudget waiver helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities received needed services for health safety and living in their community.
What Is the iBudget Waiver?
- The iBudget waiver is a health insurance program that serves nearly 35,000 individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is funded by federal and state dollars through Medicaid- the only public health insurance program available to people with disabilities.
- The iBudget waiver provides critical, specialized long-term services that are not available through standard Medicaid managed care providers or private health insurance companies.
- The iBudget waiver helps people get the care and support needed to live and work in their own homes and communities. It is the only program that prevents a person from having to live in an institution to get the care they need.
- Our legislature must understand the iBudget waiver’s critical importance in people’s lives.
Why Is It Important?
- We are 49th in the nation in our Medicaid spending for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities
- Over 70% of the 35,000 people on the iBudget Waiver live in their own home or their family home, which is a much less expensive option than costly institutional care.
- However, nearly one third of family caregivers are over the age of 60, which means that increasing support will be needed as these caregivers age.
- Critical services that are not covered by regular insurance or state plan Medicaid must be preserved in the iBudget waiver.
- The waiver is a cost containment system that saves the State 3.4 billion dollars in institutional costs yearly.
What Do We Recommend?
- The iBudget waiver must be included in the social services estimating conference to secure a commitment for funding the essential services needed by the nearly 35,000 currently funded on the waiver.
- Waiver services must not be moved to for-profit managed care providers. There is no evidence that indicates there are savings to the State with this model while maintaining quality care.
- Adopt recommendations in the Agency for Persons with Disabilities report to the legislature if none of the choices force individuals back into institutions.
If you are not already aware of the proposed changes, please follow the links below to find out how the proposed changes may impact you or your loved one.
Save and Improve The iBudget Waiver
Save the iBudget Waiver – Resources
The State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities