MassHealth offered opportunities for stakeholders to submit recommendations regarding how to use funding for Home and Community Based Services provided by the federal government in the American Rescue Plan Act. The Commonwealth expects over $400 million in additional HCBS funds between April 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022. The Commonwealth requested input through a defined Request for Information or “RFI.”
Points to keep in in mind regarding The Arc’s recommendations:
- Some of them eclipse the one-year time frame due to the state of community services at the present time, especially regarding the workforce, access to HCBS, and caregiver support.
- Some investments in one category will have a positive impact on another. This is difficult to fully describe in the 750 word limit of the request and will require a more detailed response.
- Funding in certain categories will slow the rate of increase of residential and other services, so these investments will bring about effectiveness and efficiencies. This is a future topic – investments not only impact positively on human lives but also lead to more efficient service delivery.
For over 70 years, The Arc has been fighting for people with disabilities to live independently with the right supports and lead the same kind of life as everyone else. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including autism, and their families want access to a life in the community, no matter the level of supports necessary to make that happen. Funding and expanding access for Home and Community Based Services and supporting the direct support workforce are critical to assist people with I/DD and autism to live and work among their neighbors. Learn more about advocacy asks for HCBS here!