States will have another year to spend $12.7 billion in Medicaid funding to help support in-home care under the American Rescue Plan. On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced states have until March 31, 2025, to use the money aimed at bolstering home- and community-based services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Everyone deserves the dignity to live in their own homes and communities, and the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting that right,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “Thanks to extended funding from President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, we are expanding home- and community-based services for millions of aging Americans and people with disabilities across the country. We are working hand-in-hand with states to ensure they have the time and support they need to strengthen their home care systems and workforce.”
The American Rescue Plan provided states a temporary 10% increase in the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage. States were originally given until March 31, 2024, to spend the money to expand, enhance or strengthen HCBS under Medicaid. It allows them to address workforce shortages and provide additional support services to family caregivers and people on HCBS wait lists.
States have been trying to figure out how to spend the additional federal funding before the deadline. New Jersey and New York have included some of the funds in their budgets to hike wages and give bonuses to direct care workers.