OK, for now

December 23, 2012 

They’re innocent bystanders, but also victims, in a snafu that came as a result of good intentions. Mentally disabled people and those with development disabilities living in group homes who get Medicaid help for personal services such as eating and bathing are about to lose their eligibility for that Medicaid money. Without such help, the owners of group homes say they’ll have to evict such people because of the financial crunch.

The problem came about because state legislators changed the rules on how those Medicaid recipients qualify for help with such services. Those living at home can get such help, but it’s going to be harder under the rules in effect next year for those in group homes to get it. Enter Gov. Beverly Perdue, who found $1 million in temporary money (from a state rental assistance program) to carry these people through January.

Now the legislature, which set up a fund to help Medicaid recipients get personal care services if they’re in adult care homes, has the challenge. Group homes were excluded from that eligibility, but some lawmakers say they’re willing to expand eligibility for their residents. They should move quickly.

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