Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Controversy Over Medicaid Cuts for Families

Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and three lawmakers are asking the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) to pause cuts to a program that helps parents take care of their medically vulnerable children. They made this request during a meeting of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Task Force. FSSA had planned to reduce payments to parents who provide care, blaming a $1 billion budget gap in Medicaid. The issue is causing tension as families worry about the impact on their children’s healthcare.

Seeking Clarity

During the meeting, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch said that there’s talk of making changes, but no one has shown any clear data to support these changes. She urged FSSA to delay implementing the program cuts until they can provide more answers and called on the General Assembly to help.

Growth of Care Programs

Kelly Mitchell, who works at FSSA, talked about how they’ve seen more people using these services, especially for children. They found that the costs have gone up from $20 million to $120 million between July 2020 and December 2023. But the problem isn’t just more people using these services; it’s also due to the increase in how much they pay caregivers, which jumped from $60 million to over $100 million in a short time.

Concerns and Pushback

FSSA wants to switch to a different way of paying caregivers called “structured family caregiving” instead of what they currently do. However, some people, like Lt. Gov. Crouch and others, are worried that this new method won’t pay parents enough. They’re concerned that families might struggle to find nurses to help, so they’ve been relying on these payments.

Families in Crisis

Several families are upset about these changes. They gathered at a meeting and said they might have to get divorced or change their legal status to keep getting help for their kids. Families are worried that they won’t be able to afford the extra costs of taking care of their children without these payments.

Read the original article by Indiana Capital Chronicle at DailyJournal.net.

Financial Resources for Families

Father caring for child in wheelchair.
Credit Dreamstime

Financial resources are available to support families caring for children with disabilities. These resources can help alleviate some of the financial burdens associated with medical care and other related expenses:

Medicaid Waivers: Medicaid provides Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers that can offer financial assistance to families. These waivers cover various support services like respite care, personal care, and therapies.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is a federal program that provides financial assistance to children with disabilities. Eligible families can receive monthly payments to help with the costs of care.

State Programs: Many states offer additional programs and grants to support families caring for children with disabilities. These programs can help cover specific needs and services.

Veterans Programs:

Veteran-Directed Home and Community-Based Services program offers veterans a          flexible budget. With the help of a counselor, veterans may be able to hire a family             member to help with daily living and activities.

Aid and Attendance Benefits program provides monthly payments in addition to a monthly VA pension for qualified veterans and survivors. These benefits help cover the costs of a caregiver, who may be a family member. Find the VA pension management center in your area to see if you qualify.

Nonprofit Organizations: Several nonprofit organizations offer financial assistance, support, and information to families of children with disabilities. These organizations may provide grants, scholarships, or other forms of financial aid.

The debate over Medicaid cuts for families of children with disabilities is a complicated issue. People want to make sure the budget is balanced, but they also want to make sure that sick kids get the care they need. Families, lawmakers, and advocates are working together to find a solution that keeps everyone’s needs in mind. Additionally, families should explore available financial resources to help them navigate the challenges of caring for children with disabilities and ensure they receive the necessary support.

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