Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in the ACA Era

December 18, 2013

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contains several provisions that address access to community based services for the 4.5 million people in the U.S. with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Many of these provisions are aimed at balancing the array of services between those offered in institutions and those in the community.

However, states have long waiting lists for community-based services. In addition, there are vast disparities in services offered and authorized from community to community, even though Medicaid finances over 70 percent of the cost of services for this population.

Moreover, this group has complex and wide-ranging service needs both in acute care and long term services and supports (LTSS), making their care costly. To help contain costs, states are increasingly moving to Medicaid managed care.

Do the provisions of the ACA have the potential to improve access to appropriate care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities? How will Medicaid expansion, where it occurs, affect the program’s role in serving this population? How are states managing their waiting lists for community-based services? How does the availability of health insurance through the exchanges change the landscape?

A distinguished panel of experts addressed these and related questions.

Barbara Edwards, director, Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, explained initiatives supported by CMS through the Medicaid program to provide services to persons with intellectual/developmental disabilities.

Ari Ne’eman, president, Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), provided an overview of provisions in the ACA that have changed, or could change, the landscape regarding access to services for this population.

James Bart, ombudsman, KanCare (Kansas Medicaid program), talked about the transition to managed care in Kansas, the ombudsman program and various system changes.

Deanna Okrent of the Alliance and David Donahue of LifeShare(Centene) moderated the discussion

Contact: Marilyn Serafini (202)789-2300

Follow the briefing on Twitter: #disabilitiesACA

The event was sponsored by the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform and The Centene Corporation.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

James Bart Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Barbara Edwards Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Ari Ne’eman Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Details

Agenda (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources