Money Follows the Person Program Extended Through 2023 with Modified Eligibility

The Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, which has helped more than 100,000 individuals transition from Medicaid institutional care to community living since 2005, has been extended through 2023. Enacted late in 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 extends funding for the program and makes two important changes to participant eligibility.

MFP is a Medicaid demonstration program that supports state efforts to rebalance their long-term services and supports systems, empowering individuals to decide where they live and receive services under Medicaid. MFP increases the use of home and community-based services (HCBS) by breaking down barriers to providing and paying for services outside of an institutional setting. By providing more cost-effective HCBS, the MFP program helps both the state and federal governments save money. And because many AAAs assist individuals using the MFP program to transition back to the community following a stay in an institutional setting, MFP funding has been a longstanding n4a legislative priority.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 extends funding for the MFP program through 2023 and makes two changes to eligibility that are expected to increase the number of individuals using the program. Effective January 26, 2021, the minimum length of time an individual must spend in an inpatient facility before they can qualify for MFP has been reduced from 90 days to 60 days. In addition, the length of time an individual receives skilled nursing or skilled rehabilitative services in a certified skilled nursing facility can now be counted toward the length-of-stay requirement.

This funding extension and eligibility expansion are especially important at a time when the dangers and shortcomings of institutionalization are more apparent than ever. AAAs play a critical role in supporting the needs of older adults—particularly for those living in their homes and communities. This funding extension will provide additional opportunities for individuals to transition to the community from institutions.

On the heels of this hard-earned three-year extension of the program, President Biden's American Jobs Plan proposes additional investments in MFP as part of a $400 billion investment in Medicaid HCBS, so there will be advocacy opportunities in the near future to argue for MFP to be made permanent!

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