Budget Update – Chapter 2

February 10, 2021

What did not happen on Sunday, did, finally happen today.  House Appropriations and Senate Finance and Appropriations reported and approved their respective versions of the budget.  Remember that they only report amendments – if there was an item in the Governor’s proposed budget which was not removed or modified, it is still there is the budget that will now move forward to a conference committee.

A couple of highlights that appear in both the House and the Senate versions:
  • Medicaid coverage for certain ABA services is included; requires a State Plan Amendment (SPA)
  • Permanent continuation of the telehealth flexibilities in the DD Waivers; requires a Waiver Amendment
  • Increase of rates for personal care, respite and companion services to protect the safety net and meet the requirements of the minimum wage increases
  • Fund the new orientation program for CD personal care aides
  • Increase Medicaid Works eligibility to 138% of FPL
The Senate added 650 FIS slots and funded DBHDS to complete the rate rebase with some very specific language about the factors to consider – including minimum wage increases.  They also included a version of provider support payments — capped at $15 million and to be allocated with very specific priorities.  And lastly, they would require a report (quarterly) on MCO provider contract terminations.

More to come when we have had time for a more in depth look!