NH DHHS - NH First to Get New Health Care Law Funds

Help Seniors and People with Disabilities Live in Their Communities

New Hampshire will be the first State in the country to receive new

Medicaid grant dollars— $26.5 million over three years— provided by the

Affordable Care Act to keep people out of institutions and living

productive lives in their communities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid

Services (CMS) announced today.

“Thanks to health reform, more seniors and people with disabilities will be

able to continue to live in their homes and communities, rather than a

nursing home,” said Marilyn Tavenner, acting CMS administrator.” We hope

other States will follow New Hampshire’s lead in seeking this new grant

money to expand community services and supports.”

A total of $3 billion is available to States under the Affordable Care

Act’s Balancing Incentive Program.

While Federal Medicaid law requires States to pay for institutional care

for the elderly or persons with disabilities who may need assistance with

activities of daily life, home or community-based long-term supports are

optional. All States, however, operate home or community-based optional

programs in Medicaid but demand frequently exceeds the State’s available


The new grant program is part of an ongoing effort by CMS and States to

expand home and community-based services and supports.

The Administration strongly supports a shift from institutional care to

community services and supports for those with long-term needs. While most

Medicaid dollars for long-term services and supports still go to

institutions, the national percentage of Medicaid spending on home and

community based services has more than doubled from 20 percent in 1995 to

43 percent in 2009.

“No one should have to live in an institution or nursing home if they can

live in their homes and communities with the right mix of affordable

supports,” said Cindy Mann, director of the CMS Center for Medicaid and

CHIP Services. “These new grants will help States like New Hampshire give

people with long-term care needs the choice about how and where to live

their lives.”

States are eligible for these grants, in the form of higher Medicaid

matching payments, if they currently spend less than 50 percent of their

total long-term care costs on community-based options. The enhanced

Medicaid payments must be spent increasing the availability of long-term

community-based services and supports. The New Hampshire Department of

Health and Human Services Balancing Incentive Program, in partnership with

community organizations throughout the State, plans to further develop the

systems of community-based care that serve seniors and individuals with

behavioral health needs, physical disabilities, and intellectual


New Hampshire’s grant funds will run from April 1, 2012 through September

30, 2015.

Medicaid officials will speak today at noon on new State efforts to promote

more home and community-based long-term care, to transition away from

institutional care.