North Carolina Medicaid Rules Change May Displace Thousands of People with Mental DisabilitiesImage Banner

North Carolina Medicaid Rules Change May Displace Thousands of People with Mental Disabilities

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North Carolina Medicaid Rules Change May Displace Thousands of People with Mental Disabilities

November 14, 2012

On January 1, 2013, approximately two thousand people with mental disabilities may be evicted from group homes due to changes in the state's Medicaid rules. In order to comply with federal rules about how to qualify for services such as assistance with eating, bathing, and other basic life functions, the state changed its requirements to make it so that people living in licensed facilities must meet the same program qualifications as people who live in private homes. The new rules make it more difficult for people living in group homes to qualify than they have in the past.

The legislature made a distinction between adult care homes and group homes, setting aside additional money in the budget for adult care homes to offset the loss of federal money. Group homes were not included in that plan. Changing the law to include group homes in sharing that funding is on the table, but could not be acted upon until at least January 30, leaving a gap of care for the affected Medicaid beneficiaries.

As a stop-gap measure in the event that a legislative solution is not found in time, advocates for group home residents have encouraged them to file administrative appeals when the state gives them notice that they no longer qualify, as people who file timely appeals will continue to receive services until a final decision as to eligibility is made.

Source: News & Observer