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A National Analysis of Medicaid HCBS Waivers for People with IDD (FY 2010)

By Carli Friedman, CQL Director of Research

In fiscal year (FY) 2009, the Medicaid program funded over 75% of all publicly funded long-term supports and services (LTSS) for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the United States (Braddock et al., 2011). The majority of spending was attributed to the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waiver program. In FY 2009, federal–state spending for the HCBS Waiver program reached over $25.1 billion and constituted almost half of total funding across the nation that year (Braddock et al., 2011). Considerable effort has been spent investigating Medicaid program expenditures, however, due in part to the unique and state-specific nature of HCBS programs, national-level analysis on the types of services offered to individuals with IDD has not been available. A full understanding of the supports available through the Medicaid program is critical as the United States considers strategies for economic recovery among competing state and federal budget priorities. This article presents the results of an analysis of 88 Medicaid HCBS Section 1915(c) waiver applications for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in 41 states and the District of Columbia. It analyzes IDD data and trends close to the real time intent of states and empowers advocates in presenting timely solutions to real-time issues.