Medicaid Updates

The Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) wants to share some important updates with stakeholders of the 1915(c) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waiver programs.

  • Public Comment Update: DMS is delaying the formal public comment period scheduled to start on Friday, November 1, 2019, by one week. The formal public comment period will now start on Friday, November 8, 2019. Details can be found in the updated public comment notice below. 
  • Service Authorization Changes: Effective November 25, 2019, Carewise Health will no longer approve person-centered service plans (PCSPs) for 1915(c) HCBS waivers. Case managers will take over this task for most services. Today, DMS notified case managers of several upcoming deadlines related to this change. We have included a copy of the notice in this email to make all stakeholders aware as the deadlines could affect re-certifications or emergency modifications to PCSPs.

Medicaid Update

The Department for Medicaid Services (DMS) is announcing a new official public comment period for the amended 1915(c) Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers. This official public comment period will focus on amendments to three appendices of the waiver applications which were updated based on the outcome of the 1915(c) HCBS Rate Study. Please read the public comment notice for details.

Treatment of ABLE Accounts

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued a notice regarding the treatment of funds in or distributed from ABLE accounts in HUD-assisted programs. The ABLE Act allows states to create tax-advantaged ABLE savings account programs for qualified people with disabilities; these ABLE accounts allow beneficiaries to save funds for qualified disability expenses while the funds in the account and distributions are not counted for purposes of eligibility for means-tested programs.

The HUD notice provides guidance about the exclusion of ABLE accounts from the calculation of income and assets, as required under the ABLE Act. Consistent with Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration policy, the HUD notice clarifies that, among other things, for the purpose of determining eligibility and continued occupancy for a list of key HUD programs, HUD will disregard amounts in the individual’s ABLE account and distributions from the account. The notice is a welcome development and the information should be helpful in addressing questions about the treatment of ABLE account funds.